What Defines Vehicle? - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2010874

What Defines Vehicle?

Concerning your recent article about the status of e-bikes and related forms of transportation [“E-bikes Ride A Legal Side Street Between Bicycles And Motorcycles,” 27east.com, July 27]: A standard clearly needs to be established concerning e-bikes and who operates them.

As a resident of Hampton West, I have seen e-bike riders as young as 10 years old riding in the streets, no helmet, going the wrong way and on the wrong side of the streets. (Kudos to the Town Police, who have responded immediately whenever called.)

Yet they are not considered vehicles if part of their propulsion is pedaling, even though they are assisted by an electric battery. What constitutes a dirt bike? Okay, a gasoline motor. Does this mean an all-electric dirt bike is a bicycle and not a motorized vehicle? Does a Tesla become a non-vehicle because it is electric?

Let’s talk insurance. Suppose an accident occurs; shouldn’t any mechanically assisted vehicle be required to be insured?

In terms of Hampton West, there will be some day when some poor young child gets hit by one of these vehicles going the wrong way, or is operating one of these vehicles and is injured by an auto. What happens then? Also I have seen these vehicles on the road at night — no running lights.

Be it a state issue or local issue, it needs to be addressed.

Forest Markowitz

Westhampton Beach