Third State Legislator Proposes Harsher Penalties for E-Bike and E-Scooter Drivers who Commit Hit-and-Runs
Electric scooter and e-bike riders who harm or kill pedestrians in hit-and-run accidents should face penalties that are equal to those confronting car and drivers who do the same, said state Sen. Liz Krueger today when she introduced a new bill to the state legislature.
Currently, state law says that drivers who leave the scenes of car crashes that result in physical injuries are charged with felonies, while drivers of e-scooters and e-bikes who do the same, are charged with mere misdemeanors.
“[E-scooters and e-bikes] are hefty vehicles, and they don’t have license plates: which is why we think it’s so important that the same rules that apply to a car, in a hit-and-run, apply to you if you’re using one of these electric vehicles, Sen. Krueger told the New York Post. “I think it’s almost common sense policy that we should have these vehicles have to follow basically the same rules of the roads.”
Krueger’s bill comes after state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal also called for stricter penalties for e-scooter hit-and-runs after the death of actress Lisa Banes, whose “vehicular assailant,” as the Post calls him, remains at-large.
In early June, state Sen. Simcha Felder also introduced four new bills to provide safer New York City streets.
Sen. Felder’s first two bills require all New York City cyclists, bikers, and e-scooter rides of all ages wear helmets and to affix license plates on two-wheel vehicles.
In addition, Sen. Felder is pushing two other bills that require riders of wheel vehicles to take safety pre-licensing courses and then obtain mandatory bicycle licenses before venturing out on the city streets.
State Sen. Felder also said that in a busy place like New York City, drivers of all types of vehicles should first have an education on how to use the city streets before being allowed to travel on them.
“If you stopped half or more of the scooter riders in the city, they would not know the rules of the road. They have to know what the rules are, especially when they are flying down the street at 30 miles per hour,” he said.