NEW YORK - Today, June 16, Sen. Brad Hoylman (D/WF - Manhattan) and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) held a press conference at the corner of W 64th Street & Amsterdam Avenue calling for the passage of legislation (S.7212/A.8128) that would increase the penalties for conducting a hit-and-run with an electric scooter consistent with the law against leaving the scene of an automobile collision without reporting. The conference follows the death of actress Lisa Banes, who passed away this week after an electric scooter rider hit her and fled the scene on the Upper West Side.
Senator Brad Hoylman said: “Our laws today don't reflect the modern reality of our streets and sidewalks. In New York today, the penalty for leaving the scene of an electric scooter crash without reporting it to police is less harsh than the penalty when driving a car. That makes no sense. Scooters have become a part of New York’s transportation infrastructure. Our laws need to catch up with the times. If you hurt someone with a scooter and you flee the scene, you must be held accountable, the same accountability as if you were driving a car.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said: "Lisa Banes's life ended tragically and publicly. She was struck by a negligent and reckless scooter driver who fled the scene. In recent years, e-scooters have exploded in popularity, but the law regulating their use has not kept pace. Since 2020, there have been more than 588 crashes involving electric scooters in New York City, which resulted in three pedestrian deaths and injuries to 538 people.
“In far too many cases, the driver fails to stop. If a person were to leave the scene of an automobile accident after causing injury, they would be charged with a class A misdemeanor; driving an e-scooter, however, is classified merely a violation. We must protect pedestrians and hold dangerous drivers accountable by passing my legislation with State Senator Brad Hoylman to hold drivers accountable by increasing the penalties for leaving the scene of a crash with an e-scooter."
Under current law, the penalty for leaving the scene of an electric scooter crash without reporting it to police is a violation if the crash results in physical injury, or a B misdemeanor if the crash results in serious physical injury.
The penalty for leaving the scene of a car crash without reporting it to police is an A misdemeanor if the crash results in physical injury, or an E felony if the crash results in serious physical injury.
(S.7212/A.8128) would increase the penalties for electric scooter hit-and-runs to be consistent with the penalties for automobile hit-and-runs. Since the penalties are based on the severity of the injuries caused to the victim, the law should not differentiate between the mode of transportation used by the fleeing driver or rider.