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This entry was published on 2020-04-17
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SECTION 1242
Additional provisions applicable to bicycles with electric assist
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 7, ARTICLE 34
§ 1242. Additional provisions applicable to bicycles with electric
assist. 1. In addition to complying with all of the rules, regulations,
and provisions applicable to bicycles contained in this article,
bicycles with electric assist shall operate in a manner so that the
electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are
applied or the rider stops pedaling, or operate in a manner such that
the electric motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when
released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to
function.

2. No person less than sixteen years of age shall operate a bicycle
with electric assist. The failure of any person to comply with the
provisions of this subdivision shall not constitute contributory
negligence or assumption of risk, and 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.

3. (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this
subdivision, the governing body of any city, town or village may, by
local law or ordinance, further regulate the time, place and manner of
the operation of bicycles with electric assist including, but not
limited to, maximum speed, requiring the use of protective headgear, and
the wearing of readily visible reflective clothing or material by
operators of bicycles with electric assist, and may limit, prohibit the
use thereof in specified areas, or prohibit entirely the use of bicycles
with electric assist within such city, town or village, provided that
adequate signage is visibly posted outside the boundaries of such
prohibited areas.

(b) The governing body of any city, town or village in the counties of
Nassau or Suffolk may, by local law or ordinance, further regulate the
time, place and manner of the operation of bicycles with electric
assist, including, but not limited to, maximum speed, requiring the use
of protective headgear, and the wearing of readily visible reflective
clothing or material by operators of bicycles with electric assist only
after adoption of a local law or ordinance by the governing body of the
county in which the city, town or village is located. Provided, however,
that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to the adoption of
a local law or ordinance by a city, town or village in the counties of
Nassau or Suffolk pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this
subdivision to prohibit the use of bicycles with electric assist in
specified areas, or prohibit entirely the use of bicycles with electric
assist within such city, town or village, provided that adequate signage
is visibly posted outside the boundaries of such prohibited areas.

(c) The governing body of any town or village in the county of
Westchester may, by local law or ordinance, further regulate the time,
place and manner of the operation of bicycles with electric assist,
including, but not limited to, maximum speed, requiring the use of
protective headgear, and the wearing of readily visible reflective
clothing or material by operators of bicycles with electric assist only
after adoption of a local law or ordinance by the governing body of
Westchester county. Provided, however, that the provisions of this
paragraph shall not apply to the adoption of a local law or ordinance by
a town or village in the county of Westchester pursuant to the
provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdivision to prohibit the use of
bicycles with electric assist in specified areas, or prohibit entirely
the use of bicycles with electric assist within such town or village,
provided that adequate signage is visibly posted outside the boundaries
of such prohibited areas.

4. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle with electric assist on any
public lands or property, other than a highway exclusive of any greenway
running adjacent to or connected with a highway, except that a bicycle
with electric assist may be operated on any such lands that have been
designated and posted for travel by bicycles with electric assist in
accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this subdivision. For
the purposes of this subdivision, the term "greenway" shall have the
same meaning as such term is defined by subdivision seven of section
44-0103 of the environmental conservation law and subdivision one of
section 39.03 of the parks, recreation and historic preservation law.

(b) A state agency, by regulation or order, and a city, town or
village, by local law or ordinance, may designate any appropriate public
lands and properties under its jurisdiction, other than highways
exclusive of any greenway running adjacent to or connected with a
highway, as a place open for travel by bicycles with electric assist
upon written request for such designation by any person, and may impose
restrictions and conditions for the regulation and safe operation of
bicycles with electric assist on such public lands or property, such as
travel on designated trails and hours of operation.

5. (a) No bicycle with electric assist shall be operated on a
sidewalk, except as may be authorized by a local law or ordinance
adopted by a city, town or village having jurisdiction over such
sidewalk including parking on certain sidewalks within such city, town
or village in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, as amended (Public Law 101-336).

(b) (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, a bicycle with electric assist owned by a natural person
where the owner is engaged in personal use may park on a sidewalk
whether attended or unattended. A city, town or village having
jurisdiction over such sidewalk shall provide a method by which a
bicycle with electric assist owned by a natural person may be identified
as such.

(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, a bicycle with electric assist used to transport property
in commerce may temporarily park on a sidewalk, whether attended or
unattended, for the purpose of and while actually engaged commercially
in the loading or unloading of property. A city, town or village having
jurisdiction over such sidewalk shall provide a method by which a
bicycle with electric assist used to transport property in commerce may
be identified as such.

(iii) No person shall park a bicycle with electric assist pursuant to
this paragraph in a manner that interferes with the free passage of
pedestrians on a sidewalk.

6. Every person operating a bicycle with electric assist shall yield
the right of way to pedestrians.

7. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (b) of section twelve
hundred thirty-four of this article to the contrary, persons operating
bicycles with electric assist upon a roadway shall ride single file.

8. Except as may be otherwise provided by local law, ordinance, order,
rule or regulation enacted or promulgated pursuant to this article, a
bicycle with electric assist may only be operated on highways with a
posted speed limit of thirty miles per hour or less, including
non-interstate public highways, private roads open to motor vehicle
traffic, and designated bicycle or in-line skate lanes.

9. No person shall operate a class one or class two bicycle with
electric assist in excess of twenty miles per hour. No person shall
operate a class three bicycle with electric assist in excess of
twenty-five miles per hour.

10. The operation of a class three bicycle with electric assist
outside of a city having a population of one million or more is
prohibited.

11. (a) No person, firm, association or corporation engaged in the
business of selling or leasing bicycles with electric assist shall sell
or lease any bicycle with electric assist on or after June first, two
thousand twenty-two unless such bicycle with electric assist has
permanently affixed thereto, in a prominent location, a manufacturer's
label which shall include the following information: the class, maximum
motor-assisted speed, and motor wattage of such bicycle with electric
assist. Manufacturers and distributors of bicycles with electric assist
shall, by April first, two thousand twenty-two, establish a process by
which an owner of a bicycle with electric assist may request and obtain
a manufacturer's label providing the class, maximum motor-assisted
speed, and motor wattage applicable to his or her bicycle with electric
assist purchased prior to June first, two thousand twenty-two and
installation instructions from such manufacturers and distributors.

(b) No person shall operate a bicycle with electric assist on any
public highway or street in this state after June first, two thousand
twenty-two unless such bicycle with electric assist has permanently
affixed thereto, in a prominent location, a manufacturer's label
providing the class, maximum motor-assisted speed, and motor wattage of
such bicycle with electric assist. Any person who violates the
provisions of this paragraph shall be punished by a civil fine of up to
fifty dollars. The court shall waive any fine for which a person who
violates the provisions of this paragraph would be liable if such person
supplies the court with proof that, between the date on which he or she
is charged with having violated this paragraph and the appearance date
for such violation, a manufacturer's label was affixed to his or her
bicycle with electric assist as required by this paragraph. Provided,
however, that such waiver of fine shall not apply to a second or
subsequent conviction under this paragraph.

12. A violation of the provisions of subdivision two, five, six, nine,
or ten of this section shall result in a civil fine not to exceed fifty
dollars.

13. A police officer shall only issue a summons for a violation 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 guardian and where such parent or
guardian is eighteen years of age or older. 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.