Albany proposal would make e-bike hit-and-runs a felony
A brand new proposal within the state legislature would convey penalties for hit-and-run electrical scooter and electrical bike riders in keeping with these going through automobile and truck drivers.
State Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) mentioned Tuesday her just-introduced invoice would create “equal penalties whether or not you’re driving a car, or an digital bike or scooter.”
“There have been a number of circumstances of individuals getting hit by digital bikes, scooters,” Krueger advised the Publish — such because the hit-and-run that killed actress Lisa Banes in June.
“We’re speaking about issues that really appear like bikes or mopeds. They’re hefty automobiles, they usually don’t have a license plates… which is why we expect it’s so essential that the identical guidelines that apply to a automobile in a hit-and-run apply to you if you happen to’re utilizing certainly one of these electrical automobiles,” Krueger mentioned.
“I feel it’s virtually widespread sense coverage that we should always have these automobiles should comply with mainly the identical guidelines of the roads.”
Krueger’s invoice comes after her Manhattan colleagues State Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal referred to as for stricter penalties for e-scooter hit-and-runs following the demise of Banes, whose vehicular assailant stays at-large.
Leaving the scene of a automobile crash that leads to bodily harm is at the moment a felony beneath state legislation — however doing it on an e-scooter or e-bike is a mere misdemeanor.
State legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo legalized e-bikes and e-scooters at the beginning of 2020. Riders should adhere to 25 mph pace limits, however Krueger mentioned Manhattan is inundated with electrical two-wheelers going a lot quicker.
“They’re not supposed to have the ability to go over 25 miles an hour, however after all you may soup up something,” Krueger mentioned. “I’m not anti bike. I’m not anti electrical bike — so long as you’re driving them fastidiously. I’m not even saying I’m anti- different electrical automobiles… however if you happen to’re on a bike that’s electrical, you have to be on the roadway, not on the bike path — and you have to be following the identical legal guidelines.”
The highly effective Senate finances chair had outspoken reservations about e-bike and e-scooter legalization after they have been handed final January.
She mentioned lawmakers should adapt to the “evolving” array of automobiles on metropolis streets, and prompt higher-speed electrical bikes may very well be required to have license plates.
“Do I feel an electrical bicycle must be licensed? Primarily based on the homework I’ve carried out of entities attempting to discover that, no, I don’t assume we’re at that stage,” she mentioned.
“But when we’re going to name one thing [a scooter] that appears similar to a bike and has the identical energy, wright and pace, then perhaps.”