Safety and the risk of an increase in bicycle accident injuries have long been the main worry in legalizing e-bikes and e-scooters in New York.
While pedal assists bicycles that travels at an average 20 mph speed were not much of an issue for legislators, throttle-controlled e-bikes that do not require pedaling and travel at an average 25 mph were more controversial. Despite being illegal until recently, throttle-controlled e-bikes were widely used by restaurant delivery workers in the city. Food delivery workers were frequently harassed by the police who have been ticketing them and confiscating their bikes.
However in mid-march as food delivery workers became crucial in feeding New Yorkers during the pandemic, the city decided to suspend enforcement on e-bikes as long as restaurants would be able to operate as a take-out and delivery only. Following this decision, two weeks later, NY State finally legalized e-bikes ad e-scooters.