The Business Council of New York State, Inc., the state’s leading statewide business and industry association, supports this section of the budget that would amend the Vehicle and Traffic Law to authorize the operation of electric scooters.
This bill would add a new §34-D to the Vehicle and Traffic Law to authorize and govern the use of electric scooters in New York State. Many cities across the country have seen a tremendous growth in this safe, fast and consumer friendly form of transportation. However, since the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law does not currently define e-scooters, this law needs to be updated to reflect this new market entrant.
The new section of law takes a common sense approach to the authorization of this new and growing mode of travel. The new provisions allow the use of electric scooters on public highways and private roads with posted speeds not higher than 30 miles per hour, precludes operation on sidewalks, limits maximum speed to 15 miles per hour, requires certain safety features such as lights and bells/audible devices, and authorizes localities to set additional rules and regulations.
Additional provisions include a universal age requirement of 16 years old, a requirement for protective headgear for those 16 and 17 years old, and general rules for operations such as the use of bike lanes and single file driving. The new law also applies the same DWI provisions to e-scooters as to those governing other motorized vehicles.
The authorization of this fast growing mode of transportation will greatly assist business and commerce, alleviate congestion, and create new opportunities in the field of urban transportation. This bill contains the necessary definitions and amendments to ensure this low-speed, inexpensive, “last mile” mode of transport is safely enacted.
For the above reasons, The Business Council supports this legislation.