Press Release - 05-01-2023

Monday, May 1, 2023


DMV Offers Tips for Drivers and Riders Including Those Using E-Bikes

May 3 is Walk and Bike to School Day

May is Bicycle Safety Month, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminded all road users of their responsibility to share the road safely whether driving, biking or walking.

Bicyclists are some of the most vulnerable roadway users and have the right to share the road and travel in the same direction as motor vehicles. Wednesday, May 3, is Walk and Bike to School Day so drivers should be especially alert that day for children riding their bicycles to and from school.

“Bicycle riding is great fun and terrific exercise, so we hope New Yorkers will take advantage of spring weather to get out to ride,” said DMV Commissioner and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “We also hope drivers, riders and other road users will look out for each other so everyone gets to their destinations safely.”

At all times, drivers should:

  • Check your "blind spots" before you make a turn, parallel park, open a door or leave a curb. Do not depend only on your mirrors - turn your head to look for bicyclists, skaters and scooter operators that may be next to you or approaching.
  • Give bicyclists room when you drive. Reduce speed as you pass them. Air pressure from a vehicle that passes them quickly can send them off balance. 
  • Be aware that the bicyclist near or in front of you can react to road hazards with sudden changes of speed, direction, or lane position. 
  • The rules of the road and right-of-way apply to and protect these and other highway users. You must yield the right-of-way to them just as you would to another vehicle. And they must obey the rules of the road just as motor vehicle drivers do.

Bicyclists must:

  • Ride in a bicycle lane, if available. Where there is none, they must remain near the right curb or edge of the road or on a right shoulder of the road, to prevent interference with other traffic. When they prepare for a left turn or must move left to avoid hazards, cyclists do not have to remain to the right.
  • Come to a full stop before they enter a roadway from a driveway, an alley or over a curb.
  • Never travel with more than two side-by-side in a single lane.
  • Never ride on a sidewalk if it is prohibited by local laws.
  • Bicyclists and their passengers, and in-line skaters, ages 1 through 13, must wear an approved helmet. Adults must obey any local laws or regulations about helmet use.

  •  Signal turns, lane changes and stops through the use of hand signals. A bicyclist can signal a right turn when they extend the right arm straight out to the right. Left turn - left arm fully extended to left; Stop - left arm extended and bent down at elbow; Right turn - right arm fully extended to right or left arm extended and bent up at elbow.
  • Never carry an infant under one year old as a passenger. It is against the law. Child passengers ages 1- to 4-years-old must ride in attached bicycle safety seats.
  • Never carry a passenger unless the bicycle has a passenger seat.
  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times and do not carry any item which prevents correct control of the bicycle.
  • Any bicycle crash that causes death or serious injury must be reported to DMV within 10 days of the incident. Bicycle accident report forms (MV-104C) are available at any motor vehicle office.

A bicycle driven on public highways must have adequate brakes and a horn or bell that can be heard at least 100 feet away. A bicycle used at night must have a headlight visible from at least 500 feet ahead and a red taillight visible from at least 300 feet behind. One of these lights must be visible from at least 200 feet away on each side. A bicycle sold by a dealer must have wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors or reflective tires, a wide-angle rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

E-Bikes and Scooters:

In 2020, the law was changed to allow bicycles with electric assist, also known as e-bikes, and electric scooters to be operated on some streets and highways in New York State.

  • you can operate these devices on highways with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH or less and they do not need to be registered with the DMV
  • municipalities can further regulate the time, place and manner of operation of these devices
  • you cannot operate these devices on a sidewalk except as authorized by local law or ordinance
  • use of a helmet is always encouraged and required by law if the e-bike can travel up to 25 MPH

Mini-bikes, dirt bikes, ATVs, go-karts, and golf carts cannot be operated on public streets and highways. Vision Zero offers specific information about operating e-bikes and e-scooters in New York City.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website also offers bicycle safety information. You can learn about bike rodeos, helmet-fitting events, and find educational material and resources.

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