Electric Scooters Are Still Illegal To Use In NYC

The search to find the best way to reach point A to point B still continues. With problems like pollution, traffic, and congestion in public transport, many people look for alternative ways to travel.

Biking is one of them and New York City is a bike-friendly city. Another mode of transport people are looking into is the use of electric scooters. However, that option has been halted this month as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo put a stop on legalizing electric scooters and electric bikes.

Why Was The Legislation Vetoed?

People thought that everything was going smoothly for the electric scooter since it passed both houses. The public is also supporting the legislation as many would benefit from legalizing the use of electric scooters.

However, the Gov. Cuomo vetoed the legislation last December 26, 2019, because he thinks there aren’t enough safety measures and regulations pertaining to the use of electric scooters. Safety is the Governor’s concern but many people feel that the regulations and safety precautions can be created by the local government.

Safety is a real concern because some riders don’t even bother protecting themselves or taking safety measures to protect nearby people when they ride. Reports of electric scooters, as well as electric bikes, colliding with pedestrians are plenty. All of these were considered by Cuomo in vetoing the legislation.

The Public’s Reaction

Many people are disappointed with the vetoed legislation. Although there are reports of electric scooters and pedestrians colliding, there are also reports of cars hitting those in scooters and bikes. These scenarios are also fatal, however, the focus was more on to wear a helmet rather than to require safer driving or making the roads much safer for those using alternative means of transportation such as scooters.

Even if the legislation is halted in New York City, other cities near NYC like Yonkers, Ithaca, and Rochester are welcoming scooters. Hoboken, a city in New Jersey, is the first to allow the rental of e-scooters. The pilot program yielded promising results.

Surveyed participants took fewer taxi trips and drove less while using the e-scooter app. Many of them also found riding e-scooters an easier way to get to where they needed to go. Others have used it alongside public transit.

With the legislation vetoed, it is now illegal to use an electric scooter or electric bike in the state of New York. Those who will be caught will be fined of up to $500.

The Future Of Electric Scooters And Electric Bikes In New York

Even if Gov. Cuomo vetoed the bill legalizing the use of e-scooters and e-bikes, he still had a similar proposal included in his budget. However, this proposal now has helmet requirements for the riders. In the proposal, those who are under 18 and those whose rides can go up to 25 miles per hour are required to wear helmets.

Even if electronic rides are legalized, local governments can still choose to opt-out of it. There are still some who believe that using e-scooters and e-bikes are dangerous on the streets as well as to pedestrians.

Final Words

Whether e-bikes and e-scooters should be legalized is still a well-debated topic among the public. Some people love them for the convenience they provide while others hate them for the potential dangers they bring. Either way, there is nothing that we can do now but to wait and see if a bill regarding it’s legalization would be passed.