City Council members Dan Garodnick and Jimmy Van Bramer yesterday called for legislation to double traffic violation fines for those riding electronic assisted bicycles. Even though the City Council overrode a mayoral veto to ban electronic bikes in 2004, both Garodnick and Van Bramer said at a press conference in Queens that motorists are still dangerously riding electronic bikes on the sidewalk, against traffic and through red lights. Noting that he saw an electronic assisted bike just minutes before the press conference, Van Bramer said that there was an “epidemic of reckless driving” in his district and across the city. By doubling the fines, Garodnick said the city could step up enforcement. “Navigating our city streets is dangerous and difficult enough without the reckless actions of many cyclists who are riding illegal electric bikes today,” Garodnick said. “We need to empower our law enforcement officials to help crack down on this illegal activity.” The legislation, introduced by Garodnick and co-sponsored by Van Bramer and seven other council members in June of last year, is awaiting a hearing by the council’s transportation committee this fall. In February, Councilwoman Jessica Lappin introduced a separate bill to double the $500 fine for selling or operating an electronic assisted bicycle.
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