If you are a commercial delivery person in New York, or any other rider, you better hope that your bicycle is only powered by your own two feet. The state of New York does not distinguish E-bikes from scooters and, as such, people are facing serious fines and, worse, the impoundment of their transportation.
An E-bike is a bicycle. It looks the same and weighs the same. Although they are electrically powered, they do not have rapid acceleration. In many cases, they are chosen because they are easier to maneuver uphill and take less energy. For those who rely on their bicycles for a long commute or their gainful employment, having a bit of extra power can be of great assistance.
Despite the state encouraging people to ride bicycles instead of drive cars, legislation is behind the times. In what may seem to be stark contrast to this encouragement, the mayor has issued a Vision Zero program. As part of that program, police officers are targeting people utilizing E-bikes and handing out citations. These citations often result in heavy fines and having bicycles confiscated.
Other states, including Tennessee, California, Colorado and Utah, have made the legal distinction between E-bikes and other motorized vehicles like scooters, mopeds and motorbikes. This has meant that E-bikes are legally permitted to be ridden on city streets. New York has so far not followed suit. Any person operating an E-bike on a street is considered to be in violation of the law.
If you have received a traffic citation for operating an E-bike in New York, we are here to help you. Reach out to our team of attorneys for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your charges and advise you of your legal rights.