New York City is experiencing a surge of people using e-scooters and e-bikes to get around, mainly to avoid subways and buses during the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times reports that this boom in electric-powered vehicles is here to stay past the pandemic and is the newest safety challenge to the city’s streets.
The e-mobility boom has brought significant safety challenges to New York’s already congested streets. At least 17 people have been killed while riding electric mobility vehicles this year, city officials say. Revel, which operates an electric moped share program in New York voluntarily shut it down for a month last year after three riders were killed. Crashes involving these vehicles have also killed three pedestrians this year including actress Lisa Banes who was knocked down by a hit-and-run scooter rider on the Upper West Side.
Regulating E-Mobility Devices
City and state officials have also scrambled to keep up with the rapid spread of these vehicles. A majority of e-bikes and e-scooters only became legal on city streets last year even though delivery workers have long been using them. One big concern is that unlike cars, these vehicles are not registered, and don’t require a license or insurance for operation. Automatic speeding cameras don’t even cite them.
City officials say they have been trying to enhance safety by installing more protected bike lanes and have launched a public education campaign about which e-mobility devices are legal. They’ve also set strict safety guidelines and continue to closely monitor New York’s first e-scooter share pilot program in the Bronx.
The city’s speed limit is up to 25 mph for e-bikes and 15 mph for e-scooters. Riders are required to stay off sidewalks and are allowed to travel in bike lanes and on those streets that have a speed limit of up to 30 mph. They must obey red lights, travel in the same direction as traffic and have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians.
Dangers to Riders and Pedestrians
There have been incidents where e-bike riders including food delivery workers have been fatally struck by negligent (careless) drivers. In addition, we’ve also seen tragic cases where pedestrians have been killed or severely injured by e-mobility devices. Most recently, a 32-year-old e-bike rider was struck and killed by a pickup truck driver in Queens.
The victim was riding northbound on Honeywell Street near Northern Boulevard when he was hit by the pickup truck. The rider was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident or bicycle accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Pedestrian accident victims and their families should remember that they may be able to seek compensation for injuries or losses in collisions even if the victim was not walking in a marked crosswalk and even if the driver involved in collision was not charged. Our law firm recovered the full one million dollar insurance policy for a girl who was not in the crosswalk when a motor vehicle hit her.
For 50 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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