Have you seen those people riding around the city on scooters that remind you of an electric skateboard?
Although they have been around for years, recently e-scooters have become far more popular and accessible. Cities around the country have robust e-scooter share programs. New York City is now launching pilot programs to test the capacity of the city’s streets.
What you might have not known is that until April of this past year, e-scooters were not considered legal in NY. That has now all changed.
What is an E-Scooter?
New York City and New York State define an e-scooter as a device weighing less than one hundred pounds; with handlebars, a floorboard, or seat that can be stood or sat upon by the operator; an electric motor; and powered by an electric motor and/or human power. Its maximum speed must be no more than 20 mph on a paved level surface when powered solely by the electric motor.
The law now allows any municipality, as well as their towns and villages, to regulate the manner in which e-scooters can be operated, including the time and place where they can be ridden as well as whether to require protective headgear.
What You Need to Know About This Statute
Thinking of giving an e-scooter to your son or daughter? This new law now makes it unlawful for any person less than 16 years of age to operate or ride as a passenger upon an electric scooter.
In addition, no person 16 years of age or older shall allow any person less than 16 years of age to operate or ride as a passenger upon the-scooter. If the rider is of the age of 16 or 17, it is unlawful for them to ride an electric scooter unless they are wearing a helmet.
The law also limits the maximum speed of e-scooters to 15 mph. You can’t ride or park them on a sidewalk.
Want to ride at night? The law now requires that all e-scooters operating one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset be equipped with a lamp for the front and a lamp for the rear of the scooter.
E-scooters are also required to have a bell or other device capable of giving an audible signal.
Looking forward to leaving the car at home and e-scootering to the bar? Be careful—the statute now prohibits the operation of electric scooters while intoxicated.
Who Gets a Summons?
You might be asking yourself, what police officer is going to give a kid a ticket for riding an e-scooter around town? Well, guess what? The kid doesn’t get the ticket—you do.
The new statute allows a police officer to issue a summons for any e-scooter violation by a person less than 16 years of age to the parent or guardian of such person if the violation by such person occurs in the presence of such person’s parent or guardian and where such parent or guardian is 18 years of age or more.
What Do They Cost & Where Can I Get One?
The price range of an e-scooter can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand depending upon the quality of the build and power.
Amazon.com is full of options and e-scooters are also available at most bike shops.
What Are the Benefits?
Now that I have bored you with the law, here is the best part—e-scooters are fun to ride!
E-scooters are a great way to accompany your young child on a bike ride or a partner out for a run. They are a viable option for short commutes and allow you to leave your car at home when you go to run that quick errand.
If you decide to ride, be cautious of the route you choose as streets that are under construction create issues of stability with the small tires of e-scooters. Plan your route with this and other potential obstacles in mind.
Be safe and enjoy the ride!
If you or a loved one has been hurt while riding an e-scooter in New York, contact the law firm of Flanzig & Flanzig, LLP right away. Our New York e-scooter and Revel accident attorneys will fight for your right to just compensation and comprehensive medical treatment. Contact us now to request a free case evaluation.