ALBANY, NEW YORK — The New York State Senate passed legislation that permits electric scooter companies to rent their scooters on the streets of New York. According to Mashable.com, on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the New York State legislators passed the measure that all but eliminated e-scooter restrictions in the state. The new law, if signed by the Governor, would put New York on par with other major cities in the United States that allow e-scooter rental and sharing companies to operate on its streets. Electric scooters would not arrive without controversy. Studies have illustrated that head injuries sustained in accidents have risen dramatically since e-scooter companies began operating.
Once the state-wide ban on electric scooters is removed from the state’s law books, companies such as Bird, Lime, Spin, Uber, and Lyft, to name a few, will have the ability to set up shop. Municipalities have the opportunity to pass ordinances and by-laws that restrict how e-scooters may be used, how they may be rented or shared, who might be liable for personal injury and property damage, and how e-scooters must be stored while not in use. Therefore, the total prohibition on e-scooters in New York City and other locales throughout the Empire State has not been removed. One such prohibition remains intact in Manhattan. Companies cannot offer e-scooters for rent under the new legislation. However, people who own electric scooters and electric bikes can use them on Manhattan’s streets.
An e-scooter is a dangerous mode of transportation. Rutgers New Jersey Medical School published a study that shows head injuries have escalated to a level three times higher than it was a decade ago, owing in part to the proliferation of e-scooters and other forms of “micro-mobility” transportation. Not surprisingly, 66 % of people who suffered a head injury while riding an e-scooter rode without a helmet.
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