Politicians have made ridiculous decisions in the past and to this day the trend continues. In this specific case, we are referring to New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio’s poor decision on banning electric Bikes. A guy who has entitled himself as a populist, has decided to implement a plan that’s frowned upon by the masses.
Mayor de Blasio’s vision zero plan seemed like a decent idea back in 2014. The main goal was to end traffic death and injuries on New York streets. This plan was reasonable because in New York, approximately 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic crashes. With that in mind, you would think this plan would focus on… well, drivers. Yet Mayor de Blasio’s main concern was way out in left field and went after electric bikes.
According to AM New York, back in March of this year, police cheerfully confiscated 247 illegal e-bikes in a 24-hour time frame. Deputy Mark Locco, commanding officer of the 1st precinct in lower Manhattan followed up and had tweeted “Pedestrians, bikers and motorist are safer because we took these illegal electric Bikes off the streets today #VisionZero”.
But of course, this statement was a stretch being that there was no evidence proving that seizing the bikes made pedestrians, bikers and motorists safer. The decision did have an effect though, just not in a positive way. It impacted the lives of thousands, specifically the people who performed delivery. People who relied on electric bikes for their business and livelihood now were stopped in their tracks.
Some parties were not so quiet about the decision and spoke up. The NY Daily news sided with electric bike users and stated “But if the NYPD wants to get serious about enforcement in the name of Vision Zero, it must keep the focus on road users with the potential to do the most harm — drivers — rather than people who are simply trying to make a living on two wheels, which in this case happen to be working-class immigrants.
On average, New York City drivers kill one pedestrian or cyclist every two days, according to DMV and DOT data from 2000-13. In 2016 alone, drivers killed 146 pedestrians and 18 cyclists. And in the first two months of 2017, city drivers have killed 18 pedestrians and one cyclist.
Meanwhile, e-bike riders have been involved in zero traffic-related deaths during the time that the city has collected data on their use.”
That’s right. Zero traffic-related deaths. Zilch. With that you’d think that Mayor de Blasio might reconsider and revok his ban. Nope. Instead Knucklehead Mayor de Blasio, up the ante and instead of just fining the riders AND confiscating their e-bikes, decided to fine the businesses who allow their delivery people to use E-Bikes on the job.
Hopefully in the near future, Mayor De Blasio reconsiders this ban and its effects on the people. We can only hope.