Defines the term "electric assisted bicycle" for purposes of the applicability of the vehicle and traffic law; requires persons sixteen years of age or older to wear a helmet when operating an electric assisted bicycle.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the definition of electric assisted bicycle
PURPOSE: This bill clarifies the vehicle and traffic law to define electric assisted bicycles; establishes that electric assisted bicycles, as defined, are bicycles; and establishes safety and operational criteria for their use.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new subparagraph to Section 102 of the vehicle and traffic law, defining electric assisted bicycles as: A bicycle with two or three wheels which has a saddle and fully operative pedals for human propulsion, and also has an electric motor. However, the electric motor shall not have a power output of more than 750 watts, and is incapable of propelling the device at a speed greater than twenty miles per hour on level ground. The electric motor should also be incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power alone is used to propel the device at or more than twenty miles per hour.
Section 2 adds a new section 1238-a to the vehicle and traffic law, extending the rules, regulations and provisions of the vehicle and traffic law governing standard bicycles to electric assisted bicycles; makes the federal equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles or motor driven cycles applicable to electric assisted bicycles; and adds the following operational and safety requirements for electric assisted bicycles: electric motor disengagement criteria; operators under the age of 18 must wear helmets; and no one under the age of 16 may operate an electric assisted bicycle and establishes the civil fine and enforcement procedures for failure to wear a helmet.
Section 3 amends section 125 of the vehicle and traffic law to exempt electric assisted bicycles from what is classified as a motor vehicle.
Section 4 is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Defining and establishing operational criteria for electric assisted bicycles will clarify for authorities that these vehicles are more akin to bicycles than motorcycles. This will assist in interpreting the application of the appropriate vehicle and traffic laws to operators and passengers of these vehicles.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2911-12: S.1357B - Advanced to 3rd Reading 2009-10: Similar legislation - S.4014/A.2393 Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: To take effect ninety days after it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 390 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the defi- nition of electric assisted bicycle THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 102 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 931 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows: S 102. Bicycle. 1. Every two or three wheeled device upon which a person or persons may ride, propelled by human power through a belt, a chain or gears, with such wheels in a tandem or tricycle, except that it shall not include such a device having solid tires and intended for use only on a sidewalk by pre-teenage children. 2. AN ELECTRIC ASSISTED DEVICE WITH TWO OR THREE WHEELS WHICH HAS A SADDLE AND FULLY OPERATIVE PEDALS FOR HUMAN PROPULSION AND ALSO HAS AN ELECTRIC MOTOR. THE ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE'S ELECTRIC MOTOR SHALL: HAVE A POWER OUTPUT OF NOT MORE THAN SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY WATTS; BE INCA- PABLE OF PROPELLING THE DEVICE AT A SPEED OF MORE THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR ON LEVEL GROUND; AND BE INCAPABLE OF FURTHER INCREASING THE SPEED OF THE DEVICE WHEN HUMAN POWER IS USED TO PROPEL THE DEVICE AT OR MORE THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR. S 2. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 1238-a to read as follows: S 1238-A. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICY- CLES, OPERATORS AND PASSENGERS. 1. IN ADDITION TO COMPLYING WITH ALL OF THE RULES, REGULATIONS AND PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BICYCLES CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE, AN ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE AS DEFINED IN SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWO OF THIS CHAPTER SHALL COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING REQUIRE- MENTS:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00592-01-3 S. 390 2
(A) MEET THE EQUIPMENT AND MANUFACTURING REQUIREMENTS FOR BICYCLES ADOPTED BY THE CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, ET SEQ.) OR THE REQUIREMENTS ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (49 C.F.R. 571.1, ET SEQ.) IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1966 (15 U.S.C. SEC. 1381, ET SEQ.) FOR MOTOR DRIVEN CYCLES; AND (B) OPERATE IN A MANNER SO THAT THE ELECTRIC MOTOR IS DISENGAGED OR CEASES TO FUNCTION WHEN THE BRAKES ARE APPLIED, OR OPERATE IN A MANNER SUCH THAT THE MOTOR IS ENGAGED THROUGH A SWITCH OR MECHANISM THAT, WHEN RELEASED, WILL CAUSE THE ELECTRIC MOTOR TO DISENGAGE OR CEASE TO FUNC- TION. 2. NO PERSON LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE SHALL OPERATE AN ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE, AND NO LAWFUL OPERATOR SHALL ALLOW ANY PERSON LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE TO OPERATE SUCH BICYCLE HE OR SHE IS OPERATING OR RIDING. 3. A LAWFUL OPERATOR UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE SHALL NOT OPERATE AN ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE UNLESS HE OR SHE IS WEARING A HELMET MEETING STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSIONER. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, WEARING A HELMET MEANS HAVING A HELMET OF GOOD FIT FASTENED SECURELY ON THE HEAD OF SUCH WEARER WITH THE HELMET STRAPS SECURELY FASTENED. 4. (A) ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OR THREE OF THIS SECTION SHALL PAY A CIVIL FINE NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY DOLLARS. (B) THE COURT SHALL WAIVE ANY FINE FOR WHICH A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION WOULD BE LIABLE IF SUCH PERSON SUPPLIES THE COURT WITH PROOF THAT BETWEEN THE DATE OF VIOLATION AND THE APPEARANCE DATE FOR SUCH VIOLATION SUCH PERSON PURCHASED OR RENTED A HELMET. (C) THE COURT MAY WAIVE ANY FINE FOR WHICH A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION WOULD BE LIABLE IF THE COURT FINDS THAT DUE TO REASONS OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP SUCH PERSON WAS UNABLE TO PURCHASE A HELMET OR DUE TO SUCH ECONOMIC HARDSHIP SUCH PERSON WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN A HELMET FROM A STATEWIDE OR LOCAL HELMET DISTRIB- UTION PROGRAM. 5. THE FAILURE OF ANY PERSON TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT IN ANY WAY BAR, PRECLUDE OR FORECLOSE AN ACTION FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH BY OR ON BEHALF OF SUCH PERSON, NOR IN ANY WAY DIMINISH OR REDUCE THE DAMAGES RECOVERABLE IN ANY SUCH ACTION. 6. A POLICE OFFICER SHALL ONLY ISSUE A SUMMONS FOR A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO OR THREE OF THIS SECTION BY A PERSON LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE TO THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF SUCH PERSON IF THE VIOLATION BY SUCH PERSON OCCURS IN THE PRESENCE OF SUCH PERSON'S PARENT OR GUARDI- AN AND WHERE SUCH PARENT OR GUARDIAN IS SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR MORE. SUCH SUMMONS SHALL ONLY BE ISSUED TO SUCH PARENT OR GUARDIAN, AND SHALL NOT BE ISSUED TO THE PERSON LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE. S 3. Section 125 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chap- ter 365 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: S 125. Motor vehicles. Every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power, except (a) electrically-driven mobility assistance devices operated or driven by a person with a disability, (a-1) electric personal assistive mobility devices operated outside a city with a population of one million or more, (b) vehicles which run only upon rails or tracks, (c) snowmobiles as defined in article forty-seven of this chapter,
[and](d) all terrain vehicles as defined in article forty-eight-B of thisS. 390 3
chapter, AND (E) ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLES AS DEFINED IN SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWO OF THIS ARTICLE. For the purposes of title four of this chapter, the term motor vehicle shall exclude fire and police vehicles other than ambulances. For the purposes of titles four and five of this chapter the term motor vehicles shall exclude farm type tractors and all terrain type vehicles used exclusively for agricultural purposes, or for snow plowing, other than for hire, farm equipment, including self-pro- pelled machines used exclusively in growing, harvesting or handling farm produce, and self-propelled caterpillar or crawler-type equipment while being operated on the contract site. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.