Cuomo vetoes bill to allow electric bikes, scooters


A man rides an electric scooter in Paris, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. The French government is meeting with people who’ve been injured by electric scooters as it readies restrictions on vehicles that are transforming the Paris cityscape. The Transport Ministry says Monday’s closed-door meeting is part of consultations aimed at limiting scooter speeds and where users can ride and park them. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s governor has vetoed a bill to allow electric scooters and bikes statewide, his office said Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto message said the bill overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers this year didn’t include enough safety measures, such as a helmet requirement.

“Failure to include these basic measures renders this legislation fatally flawed,” he said.

Lawmakers may try to pass a bill with more safety measures next year. Cuomo said electric bikes and scooters must be regulated to protect public safety and said he looks forward to working with lawmakers on the issue in 2020.

“There is no need for us to choose between legalizing e-bikes and safety, and I will propose a bill that does both on January 8,” the governor wrote in a Twitter post late Thursday.

Cuomo had publicly expressed concerns about protecting pedestrians from e-bikes earlier this year. His veto message cites a 16-year-old boy who died in November after being hit by a tow truck while riding an e-scooter.

Meanwhile, e-scooter manufacturer Lime and environmental advocates and municipal supporters have argued the bill fits into New York’s push to address climate change.

The vetoed bill would have allowed local communities to regulate or ban e-scooters.

Bill supporters said thousands of food delivery workers in New York City rely on e-bikes, some of which are illegal when used on city streets. In recent years, city police have increasingly cracked down on illegal e-bikes and seized them from delivery workers.

“Safety is our top priority and we look forward to discussing with state leaders how to ensure the safest possible environment for micromobility to thrive,” said Lime Senior Government Relations Director Phil Jones.

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