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Queens Councilmember Introduces Bill to Ban E-Bikes and E-Scooters

(Photo Facebook and DOT)

Council Member Robert Holden (L) has introduced legislation that would electric scooters and electric bikes (Photos: Facebook (L) and DOT (R))

Jan. 24, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

Council Member Robert Holden, who represents the Queens neighborhoods of Ridgewood and Glendale, says that electric scooters and electric bikes are putting New Yorkers in danger and has introduced legislation that would ban them until they can be properly policed.

Holden introduced a bill last week that would repeal city regulations that allow e-bikes and e-scooters to be driven throughout the five boroughs.

The lawmaker says that some riders are ignoring traffic laws — since they are not required to have a license to ride their bikes – which is leading to crashes. In addition, he said, there have been instances where the batteries in e-bikes and e-scooters have sparked fires.

Holden wants the ban imposed until state lawmakers pass legislation that would require the vehicles to be registered, licensed and insured.

The legislation that would require the vehicles to be registered, licensed and insured, can only be enacted at state level since state lawmakers legalized the vehicles in the first place in 2020, Holden said. The state law gave municipalities the ability to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.

“The scourge of these devices throughout our city has led to people disregarding traffic laws resulting in injuries or death, lithium ion-based fires that killed several people and injured hundreds, and a feeling of disorder on our streets and sidewalks as well as a diminished quality of life,” Holden said.

“We must ensure that these vehicles are operated safely before allowing them back on our streets.”

Holden’s bill, if passed, would effectively ban e-scooters and e-bikes from being operated in the city.

A $500 fine would be imposed on riders caught breaking the law.

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43 Comments

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Logan

I think that ebikes and escooters are a very good thing, especially for cities. It allows for people to have a much cheaper source of personal transportation. There are those that drive them in dumb ways. But the same is for cars. I would like to see actual statistics on the damages cause by battery fires, and injury/ death caused by people on an ebike or scooter. Car fires happen, people drive cars in dumb ways, car accidents happen, causing injury.I think that they are being irrational.

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Todd stacy

This is absolute B.S. and just another money grab. Because people with peddle bikes or kick scooters dont break any traffic law..ONLY people with a tiny little electric motor hub are. Gtfoh. they just want the money theyd get for the cost of registering them, and getting licemsed. So does a 10 year old have to get licensed including passsing a written and driving exam? And tell me again how a license or registration would stop these SUPPOSED fires.

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Richard Polleri

Well,well what about the wonderful electric cars that are running around the country and have there batteries going up in flames? But it’s amazing that when they get to register them and the state is making money on these bikes will now be ok to be ridden, and the quality of life will no longer be a problem!! What a joke!!

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Phil

As a mature (57 yo)and sensible rider of an Ebike I find this proposal an infringement on my freedom and another ploy to generate income. With the economy the way it is I hardly think people need yet another expense in our lives. It’s not only Ebikes that don’t follow traffic laws, it’s regular bikes as well. I often see them riding down one way streets the wrong way, on sidewalks, going fast on trails where there’s pedestrians etc…. The answer isn’t having insurance and registering the E-bike. The answer is ENFORCING THE LAW!!!! Have radio/televised ads running on TV and the radio stating we want a SAFE NEW YORK. “Safety starts with YOU” that could be the campaigns slogan. They could then say New Yorkers like to get out and enjoy the sites and get fresh air, exercise and have fun. Being SAFE is our top priority. Safe bikers = safe outcomes. Please follow all traffics laws so that EVERYONE can enjoy their time outside and we all can exist together. Then the campaign can go on to say Police will be watching you, and tickets will be issued if traffic laws aren’t obeyed!!!
My point is registering a “vehicle” and insuring it does mean the operator is going to follow traffic laws! Look how many vehicles still continue to exceed 25 mph on city streets, run red lights, stop signs. Pass cars in parking lane as to get to the front of the line when cars are stopped at a red light. I see this on a daily basis commuting from the Rockaways to flushing. If their is consequences people are more apt to follow the law. If they keep getting summons everytime they go out they will get the message soon enough.

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Newman

Its about time. Absolutely take every action necessary to at least regulate these very dangerous machines. I myself witnessed a reckless e-bike driver crash into a woman crossing the street ( at the crosswalk). She was unconscious, bleeding from the head, probably bleeding internally judging from the impact. Just to think, these bikes are EVERYWHERE. Running lights, driving on sidewalks, multiple bikes parked on every street, everywhere, making their deliveries at very high speeds. I also imagine a good amount of them are first time users. Enough.

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Peter

Look how well that has worked with automobiles. While in my scooter I see cars running red lights all day. A ban is definitely not the solution. There are reckless car drivers and reckless ebike and scooter riders they do not car about follow any laws. Vast majority of scooter riders are very responsible same with car driver.

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Nio62

Cars kill far more people than e-bikes or e-scooters. This councilmember should be calling for protected bike lanes to separate e-bikes and e-scooters from cars.

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Ricky willis

This is about money!! It has nothing to do with with any of the other side things, yes people do stuff things so give them a ticket for it! The fires are usually caused by people modifying their chargers to charge a battery faster which should stop. They want money period insurance, registration and training? Really?!?!?! They can police them just like bikes, motorcycles, Cars and trucks that break traffic laws

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Bobb51

Regulate the battery and quality via UL. Problem solved. Traffic laws already exist that cover ebikes and bicycles

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Bob “hates minorities” Holden strikes again!

He truly is the George Santos of the city council. What will he try next?

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Phil

What’s this proposal gave to do with him hating minorities? It would affect ALL E-Bikers not just minorities!

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Who is the scourge?

Bob Holden yelling about e-bikes, meanwhile there’s another headline on sunnyside post: “WATCH: Deranged SUV Driver Smashes into Astoria Produce Store, Knocks Woman to Pavement”

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Maria Irizarry

I think it’s about time someone steps up to this dangerous trend. They ride on sidewalks, go through lights and stop signs. Those delivery creeps have no regard for the law or safety of pedestrians.

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Ray Jackson

I got mine when the pandemic hit ,and it was the only way i could get to work as an essential worker .It’s not E bikes and E scooters at fault, it’s the operator that’s at fault .
They need to obey the rules of the road ,as do byciclists, pedestrians,motorbikes and cars. I can see a speed restriction, even a small fin if you break the law .as an example a ticket for speeding, eating a red light , or not stopping at a stop sign with a car is not even close to $500 . There are many people using E scooters and E bike to deliver food ,packeges ,and others who use them in place of mass transit. Some cities use E carage instead of horse drawn ones to help save the horses. I’ve seen bike messengers do worse than E scooter riders . What ever laws that are put in place need to be reasonable. Remember it’s some people’s lively hood you talking about.

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Tim

This is a selfish proposal by this lone senator persons rely on bicycles to get around , work stores etc since the cost of cars and insurance have skyrocketed by irresponsible policticaly motivated government

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A. Limper

It is not a selfish proposal to require bikes, scooters, univehicles, motorized or not to be licensed and carry liability insurance.
Stand on the corner of Skillman and 48th or 49th street….count the violations per hour and let me know your count.

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Annette

This is not fair to people who are following the laws of the street. Plus for people who can’t get a license. They use them to get around. All you have to do with people who are not following the rules is get there I’d and give them a ticket. That is simple instead of taking it out on everyone. We all should be carrying identification anyway. Stop taking everything away from US.

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Liz

Remember the exploding iphones that were placed under the pillows and burned off faces? Remember the Teslas that drove people under trucks to their doom? Remember the year of the planes that crashed one after the other? Yet, all three are still here… Improved upon… But, still here.

Why not improve the e-scooters and bikes? Make them safer, rather than eliminating them. This is like early America when people thought electricity and was magic…Let’s progress, like other countries, rather than digress.

Also, most e-bikes and scooters are driven by the same people who helped deliver our food and groceries during the pandemic. They couldn’t have done it without the bikes and scooters. Now you’re kicking them to the curb… Literally? What a way to say thank you…

A ban against e-bikes and e-scooters is a move against the workers and people from various backgrounds who make up our society. They are Queens. We are Queens…

Ban the cars, ban the planes, ban the iphones, ban the bomb… But don’t ban the e-s.

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Insanity wolf

So what about kids that use that for school? Make them walk, f*ck them right? But I see your point. We must insure we are making MONEY off these things. Until it puts money in lawmakers pockets, it is banned. Thank f*ck for not living in that area. I’m sure an electric scooter is so much more dangerous than a full blown vehicle not obeying the law. Everyone that drives cars/trucks obey the law.

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Anon

Finally an adult in the room. Unfortunately no matter how many people die and how much property is destroyed this has been made into another POC issue, logic is tossed aside whenever that is the case.

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Virginia Pisano

I completely agree Council Member Robert Holden. I live in Manhattan and it is has become a danger to walk on sidewalk and cross the street. These folks on scooters and bikes completely ignore the rules of the road.
I have sent many emails to our illustrious NY Mayor for the past year regarding this very dangerous issue and have NEVER received a reply. I hope your BILL passes.

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Chris

You know it really makes me upset that you’re trying to squeeze every dollar out American people or some people not obeying traffic laws yes a driver license is not going to make a difference of them obeying the law or not. Maybe you should take that energy and make some more bike lanes for these scooter riders and ebike riders to have a place to ride them in the first place. E-scooters are not a danger to anyone except the rider himself. I just don’t think it’s fair to make someone have to have insurance or register electric scooter or e-bikes if they travel below 25 miles per hour they should be left alone totally. It’s plenty of other ways to make a buck off of people. Crooked politicians I’ll tell you.

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Tim martin

Instead of defeating the whole purpose of electric vehicles why not improve the infrastructure for non car users an impose stricter regulations on battery manufactures license an insure a bicycle get out of here with that crap

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Doug

Please spend your time legislating more important issues than scooters.
This is a waste of time and money. Let people get around without the gridlock. Ban some cars!

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Nancy Kennedy

Excellent idea! You cannot walk on sidewalks or cross a street without one of these vehicles coming at you! Some riders put children on the back with no helmets or add a booming sound system for more distraction. I see these being brought into apartments at night putting the whole neighborhood at risk of fire.

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Lenny velez

As always. A new scamm and another way to suck money from new yorkers with a scuses to scamm people.this goverment is pure scam they ban technology they will keep NYC Riding horses and taking subways for the rest of our life..scooter is cutting the city $$ people don’t take subways and buses any more… NYC goverment Scammers

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Beep beep

I like to steal e bike then I ride around causing chaos.
Thanks for that bail reform cus if they every catch me I’m out in time for dinner.

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Jim

It will never work. The majority of owners are people of color. Any laws against e-bikes will be called racist. Hispanic politicians will go crazy. If a few people get hurt that is the price that we will have to pay.

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Hissn Hassn

Ban trucks and cars!
Trucks and cars are putting New Yorkers in danger and so they should be banned until they are properly operated and policed. Many drivers are ignoring traffic laws which is leading to crashes and fatalities. We must ensure that these vehicles are operated safely before allowing them back on our streets!

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John Lynch

Mr. Holden,

While I agree with you on the E-Bike & scooter question, I would implore you to deal with the crime and vagrant issue first.

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A

I agree. Compare e-bike traffic violations to rising crime stats in Ridgewood. Which would you pick to fight with limited resources? I think the latter. Stop demonizing these new entrymodes of transportation. I believe that if you asked commuters , would they rather ride a bike or take a chance on a crime ridden mta, they opt to bike.

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