DOWNTOWN — The war on motorized bikes got a boost Thursday, as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced legislators have closed a loophole that let the motorized vehicles slide.
The City Council voted in two bills to strengthen a ban on so-called "e-bikes," by tossing out the part of the law that allowed the vehicles to be used as long as they were not going faster than 15 miles per hour, Quinn said.
"Under this legislation it will be illegal to operate any motorized device within New York City that is incapable of being registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle, unless the motor vehicle is a wheelchair or other mobility aids designed for use by the disabled," Quinn said at a press conference at City Hall.
The second bill created a $100 civil penalty for business with e-bikes found on their premises. Subsequent violations could result in a $250 fine. Business owners would also be responsible for fines given to any of their employees using an e-bike for work purposes.
"E-bikes are a danger to New Yorkers because they are significantly faster and heavier than regular bikes," Quinn said.
"They also tend to have very quiet motors so you don't always here them coming. But because we see them everywhere I bet you didn't know that e-bikes are actually illegal," Quinn said.
"The bottom line is that e-bikes and dirt bikes are not bicycles," Quinn added. "They are motor vehicles that are unlicensed, unsafe and are unwelcome in the city of New York."