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Electric Scooters in NYC Prove Fatal
Electric scooters, specifically Revel mopeds, have taken New York City streets by storm. Starting out in Brooklyn in 2018, these mopeds made their way to Queens in 2019 and NYC in 2020. With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Mayor Bill De Blasio stated that New Yorker’s will have to “improvise” how they get around the city. With the hunt to find new modes of transportation that are convenient and environmentally friendly came the expansion of Revel into the bustling NYC streets. Although there was a boom in ridership, the optional safety classes were suspended due to the pandemic. This combination may have led to two fatalities and a vast number of other reported electric scooter accidents. Due to these tragic incidents, Revel had no choice but to suspend service. Revel tweeted that “we’re reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with city officials, and we look forward to serving you again in the near future.” These scooters can reach speeds up to 30 miles an hour, five miles over the New York City speed limit. Yet there are no municipal or state training requirements. The rider need only download the app, upload driver’s license information, and pay a small fee.
Are Electric Scooters Safe?
A former Revel employee even reported that “as a rider with experience, I do not trust them. They’re cheap, They’re plastic. The wheels are small in circumference. It’s a bouncy ride. In the rain we would get a lot of accidents.” This ex-employee went on to state that “you never know if you are going to get a safe and reliable vehicle. It’s kind of like a lottery.” You cannot play the lottery with your life, your passengers’ life, or the countless lives of the pedestrians and bicyclists around you. While these bikes are simpler than riding a motorcycle, the risks are the same and people are only now realizing that motorized mopeds are not toys. While the app does require people to wear helmets, there are countless reports of customers riding these bikes without helmets, wearing flipflops, and carrying young children on their back. They can easily fall risking broken limbs, spinal cord injuries and even brain damage due to lack of protective gear and the high speeds.
These electric bikes are registered motor vehicles. The mopeds are certified by the U.S Department of Transportation and registered with the NY Department of Motor Vehicles. NY state classifies these mopeds as “limited-use motorcycles,” but Revel does not require more than a driver’s license to operate it.
Know your rights if you are involved in an accident involving a moped, electric bike, or motorized scooter. The attorneys at Hill and Moin LLP will help you seek compensation for personal injuries attributed to a collision involving any of these vehicles of transportation.