Riders of Electric Bikes Hit With $1,000 Fine in New York City


Electric bicycles and New York City don’t mix.

Back in 2004, the state of New York took action against electric bicycles by banning them.  This still doesn’t sit well with some cyclists, but New York isn’t lifting that ban anytime soon.

This is Illegal in NYC

This is Illegal in NYC

In fact, officials in New York City recently upped the ante against electric bicycles by doubling the fine for riding one.

That fine in NYC now stands at $1,000 and confiscation of the illegal transportation device is allowed.

NYC council member Jessica Lappin supports this action, saying:

“My office has been deluged with complaints about the scourge  of these souped up delivery bikes, which can hit speeds of 30 mph. In a recent survey, a whopping 72% of  constituents said they’d “been hit or almost hit” by a delivery bike, and not surprisingly, about the same percentage favored increasing fines on electric bikes”

In all fairness, the action in NYC is mostly aimed at delivery people who apparently ride electric bicycles in a reckless manner and at speeds that are unsafe.




Some who work in NYC have voiced concerns over electric bicycles.  Below are condensed versions of a few of those choice quotes:

“Converge on me from multiple directions.”

“Who will think of the mothers pushing carriages who are at risk for their lives?”

“A menace to little children”

And some even say electric bicycles are a “menace to society.

We, of course, disagree.  Bicycles of all sorts should be able to freely share the roads with automobiles and no city or state should be allowed to enact a law that says a certain means of personal transportation is illegal.  But maybe we’re the exception here.  Let us know what you think.

Source: Electric Bike

Categories: Bikes, General

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "Riders of Electric Bikes Hit With $1,000 Fine in New York City"

newest oldest most voted

Bikes in most states, are viewed as a “vehicle”, like a car. So, not being allowed on sidewalks (being electrified or not), makes sense. When you have a rat-hole of a city with a dark biking history and a population density / control problem– it starts making sense why bad civil policies to keep crazy delivery people a bay, appear to be reasonable options to its inhabitants.

Unfortunately, NY has also banned electric pedestrian mobility devices like Segways, from within their borders. In an odd way, their reactive policies ensure that only oil burning, multi-ton vehicles can legally operate inside NY. This seems like a bad path for the city to proceed, in the long term…

Why anyone would still want to live in a city with totally corrupt police, and a Dictator Bloomberg is beyond me. If I found myself there I would be doing everything possible to move out at the first posible moment. For all your trouble you also get to pay an additional city income tax. Ditto Chicago, which is a city I used to really like at one time.

Is it their speed, or Electric status that is the issue? Why make propulsion the criteria for illegal status. Enforce speed and where they can be ridden. Also require appropriate registration ad safety equipment. Typical government law. Regulate something other than the root cause of the problem.

At least the messengers that hurl through red lights and blow past people at even higher speeds are still legal… we wouldn’t want to hamper them.


I don’t know really know much on this, but I think the root of the problem is that what they are calling electric bikes are not what you and I would call a bike. I think these are more like small motorcycles (they may have pedals for show) that are just not regulated because they kind of fall between the cracks of what is a motorcycle, moped or bike.
I hope that once they get rid of the problem vehicles common sense will prevail, well we can always hope, right?

I am a avid cyclist who lives in the city. I have had on numerous occasions been the recipient run-ins with operators of the electric bike, from them running down other cyclists, to going against traffic on our greenway (the bicycle & pedestrian zone along the Hudson River). The Greenway is a very congested area where it is unsafe for both speeding on a pedal driven bike to the speeds that the electric bike easily reach. The electric bikes do to their power, weight and speed have a much longer stopping distance than the average bike. Should they make contact with either another cyclist or pedestrian their impact can be devastating do their weight and speed. The electric bike is no more than electric light motorcycle or scooter, that should be regulated and license like any other non self propel vehicle. “At least the messengers that hurl through red lights and blow past people at even higher speeds are still legal… we wouldn’t want to hamper them.” Mr. Energy Czar As for the comment about messengers that blow past red lights in NYC. While they do present a hazard, few people are injured by the messenger. However, it is vehicular… Read more »

In my country there is a difference between E-Bikes and “two wheeled vehicles with propulsion”. E-Bikes are defined as Bikes with E-Assistance, they can’t be propelled without actually using the pedals and the Assistance only works to 16mph. You can cycle them faster, but thats only per muscle then. Everything faster or self propelled is considered a moped with the need of a license plate and is forced to be used on streets only (no bike or pedestrian lanes). Could work for NY too.

That’s like saying a reckless car driver is justification for making car driving categorically illegal. That’s false logic on a scale worthy of the death penalty. I hate nitwit bureaucrats.

I live in NJ and use my e-Bike almost exclusively to get around NYC. My e-bike is about 20lb heavier than a regular bike. When I’m sitting on it, the e-bike is less than 25% of the weight of the total package. This is not a make-it-or-break-it kind of difference in weight. My top speed is about 22mph — i.e. not quite the fastest bike on the Greenway. I have dual disc brakes. I would not want anything less on an e-bike. One thing I noticed when I switched to e-bike is, I was MORE willing to slow down. Because speeding back up isn’t so hard. I ride the Hudson River Greenway all the time, I make sure to never come up on someone unaware, and to leave lots of space — and I slow down all the time, whenever needed. I’ll stop in my tracks if there’s a kid in the road. I have never been ticketed for riding an e-Bike. I routinely go (slowly) past PA cops walking the GWB. I routinely walk my bike through red lights in NYC, with cops watching. I say “thank you” if pedestrians choose to step aside on a narrow path (otherwise… Read more »

These dictator politicians should go and live in te Middle East! What makes them think they can dictate what means of transport we use? They should be proving insfrastructure instead of banning everything and stoping progress! They should be ashamed of themselfs. Because we are surely ashamed of they way they are representing us!