Law Office of Jack Kotchick

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New Yorkers risk fines with electric scooters

Electric scooters are all the rage in a number of cities across the nation -- including New York City.

The electric scooters closely resemble the toy that many people fondly remember. The adult version, however, is usually a subdued color and comes with a small motor that makes traveling the city streets a breeze.

However, you can end up getting a hefty $500 fine for riding one. Electric scooters aren't legal for use in New York City -- and they probably won't be soon.

According to transportation officials, the problem with the scooters basically comes down to speed. They move far too quickly to be considered safe among the pedestrians on the sidewalk (where the scooters are usually operated). Riders could easily end up in an accident with people on foot.

On the other hand, they move too slowly to be allowed in the bike lane. Allowing them on the road with cars is out of the question because they have the potential to snarl traffic very easily. Cars and bikes would also put the scooter riders in a great deal of personal danger since riders aren't protected against accidental bumps or falls.

While New York City, like many other urban areas, is trying to find ways to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint by biking and walking, officials say that there are no plans to make the electric scooters legal in the future. The city does plan to support electric bikes, however. Electric bikes also have a motor and can help less-athletic cyclists navigate long stretches or steep hills much more easily than they might on their own.

According to researchers who have watched the spread of the electric scooters across the country from the West Coast, the traffic law against the scooters isn't currently being enforced in the city. However, owners may want to remember that they're still illegal and using one could result in a traffic ticket.

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Law Office of Jack Kotchick

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