NYC council member calls for beefed up e-vehicle regulations statewide

Traffic lines between drivers, electric vehicles, and pedestrians across New York City seemingly blur more and more by the day. 

"I see a lot of people disregarding pedestrians and traffic laws on those and any other bike pretty regularly," a pedestrian told FOX 5 New York. 

While some New Yorkers see it as a norm we'll all just have to adjust to, it’s not such a reasonable adjustment for everybody. 


Pedestrian-protection group pushes for e-vehicle safety improvements

The E-Vehicle Safety Alliance's response is from residents on the Upper East Side who are growing fearful walking on city sidewalks after near misses.

"There are e-bikes crashing in cars and there’s no insurance, no registration nothing," another pedestrian shared. 

City Council member Robert Holden is rolling out a new initiative he hopes will address some of the safety issues he’s witnessed himself.  

He's calling for state-wide comprehensive regulation of e-bikes and mobility devices, proposing measures like required road tests, registration, license, and insurance for all EVs.

"If you’re on the street, and you hit someone, you’ll see many times if you hit someone they’ll take off. There’s no license I can’t identify them. They don’t have insurance. They don’t have registration," Holden said. 

Also listed as proposed requirements an e-mobility tax, and an inspection process for increasing e-bike safety beyond the roadways. 

It's been well documented how the bikes' batteries have been a source of dozens of fires citywide. 

"We want to make sure these vehicles are safe. How many people were killed in fires already? I think it's 13 or more," he said. 

One e-bike rider pointed out what she considers a potential policy oversight. 

"It's easy for someone like me to say, ‘Yeah, but that’s because these type of things are a lot more accessible to me,’ but what about the people who use e-bikes to complete their jobs like UberEats? How accessible would it be to them to take these tests," she posited. 

He said he also agrees with the regulations "in theory" but fears the requirements add more expenses for a job that already has him pinching pennies. 

"The application, they just send you like $4, $6. You need to be careful," he said. 

Councilman Holden said while his constituents have been supportive of the proposition, the implementation of that policy has to be done on the state level.