State Senator Andrew Gounardes sent a letter to the NYC Department of Transportation to create new signs for e-bike drivers to help decrease the number of accidents caused by them.
In the letter sent in August, he suggested that the DOT install signs stating that electric bikes, electric scooters and mopeds are prohibited from sidewalk use. Also, it should add those who fail to comply would receive a $100 fine.
“We are frequently asked to pass legislation that outlaws these small vehicles on the side- walk by New Yorkers who are unaware that the law already exists,” Gounardes wrote.
“The assumption can be made that many operators are actually unaware that their behavior is criminal and punishable, especially because of how prolific this activity has become.”
He also called for an outreach program letting drivers know that the act is illegal.
“We are currently reviewing the letter and look forward to continuing to work alongside Senator Gounardes and local residents to improve the safety of streets and roadways,” DOT Spokesperson Tomas Garita told this paper.
A specific example cited in the letter is a request for DOT to put signage at Guild for Exceptional Children in Bay Ridge, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to children, adults, and sen- iors with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
The Guild contacted the elected official about putting up the signs to keep their developmentally disabled students safe from the e-scooter riders.
“Traffic rules are not always followed by cyclists, and they don’t always stay within designated bike lanes,” Joe Riley CEO of the Guild said.
DOT also stated they have been focusing their efforts to improve the safety of schools and senior centers.
“Without a doubt, the creation and implementation of this signage program and corresponding outreach is the easiest, most impactful street safety initiative that we as a city can be working on right now,” Gounardes said, adding that in the first seven months of 2022, 680 people were injured in accidents involving e-scooters alone. “This will save lives.”