Which Motorized Vehicles Are Illegal In New York City?

As the warm weather kicks in, the NYPD’s 61st Precinct is launching a public awareness campaign about the illegality of certain vehicles which have become more prevalent in our community. The following is the text of a flier they are currently distributing:

In an effort to ensure the safety of the motorists and pedestrians of New York City, the NYPD would like to advise citizens of the rules and regulations related to specific motorized devices.

The following motorized devices cannot be registered within New York State and therefore these devices cannot be operated on the highways, public streets or sidewalks of New York State.

  • Motorized Scooters
  • Dirt Bikes
  • Mini Bikes
  • Go-Karts
  • Motor Assisted Bicycles – This includes electric powered bicycles

Operation of any of these devices on any highway, street, sidewalk, parking lot or any area that allows public motor vehicle traffic is strictly prohibited.

Use of these devices subject the operator to summons and/or arrest as well as confiscation of the motorized device. Please be considerate of the safety of your fellow motorists and pedestrians.

The NYPD Thanks You For Your Cooperation.

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  1. So the NYPD is saying my daughter cant ride her power wheels car or my grandmother cant use her electric scooter to go to the store??? maybe if she had a jetpack she could get there that would probably be legal

  2. Wait a sec i just saw 3 kids riding motor scooters and my Chinese delivery guy has a motor on his bike if they are illegal and the nypd says you cant have them how is this possible?

  3. I want to get the teenager…tall, thin with dark hair……all hours of the night and day. He goes right through the stop sign on my corner a few times a week and probably a lot more than that.

  4. How could they not be allowed even in private parking lots?  I thought the City’s jurisdiction was limited to public streets and highways.

  5. There are alot of them out there. I dont care that the kids are riding around but they do make the most annoying sound.

  6. Here’s a new one, about a month ago.  I was crossing Brighton 3rd street, on Neptune Avenue, south side. I had the light. I looked briefly for cars anyway, you know how it is, never know if a nut will run the light.. Didnt see any, so I begain crossing.

       Out of nowhere, hugging the parked cars (so I couldn’t see him) was a motorized wheelchair, or vehicle, or scooter, whatever, driven by a senior citizen.  Never saw me, never looked, never stopped.

    Not sure if I would have been hurt or not, but really. He was going at a decent speed to knock someone over.

    Add this to the list of those who don’t feel the need to stop at a red light….

  7. His speech here reminds me of another one he gave years before: “This man’s a crook and ought to go RIGHT TO f****G  JAIL. NO, YOU’RE OUT OF ORDER, THE WHOLE COURTROOM’S OUT OF ORDER”

  8. Just below all these posts is an ad for “exterior demolition”. Yeah, run those scooters right into the wall, accomplish something!

  9. I see that guy all the time. He actually drives/rides in the middle of the street all the time without a care in the world.

  10. This is nuts! I’ve seen motorized scooters all over the place. Is this just another excuse to make their ticket quotas? I really despise Bloomberg and how he uses his “army” to gather income for this city only to line the pockets of his well heeled cronies.

  11. Does that mean I can’t drive my wheelchair on the street? I think it’s called a motorized scooter.

    I don’t think I drive as crazily as Bruce B.’s wheelchair guy.

  12. According to the article motorized scooters are illegal on the street as well as the sidewalk.

  13. yeah I see him a bunch of times, definitely no care in the world but hey he’s old not much time left

  14. a lot like the gambling ads… come to Atlantic City or Vegas and then right under it, Do you have a gambling addiction problem? Lol makes me laugh every time

  15. Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters used by disabled people are exempt from this directive, as their use is protected by Federal law and is not subject to local regulation, let alone by the NYPD.  I’m not sure whether their use in traffic would be considered jaywalking, but they are authorized to go wherever pedestrians are permitted to go, including sidewalks.  Segways, gas-powered devices, and other non-standard mobility aids used by some disabled people may be restricted, however.  But, if it’s considered “Durable Medical Equipment” that could be prescribed and paid for by insurance, then it’s a medical device just like its non-motorized counterpart.  If the NYPD directive isn’t clear on this, it should be re-written.

  16. It was perfect to see this particular update by the NYPD this morning… after listening to the motorized scooters shooting up and around my block late last night. And listening to the neighbors curse…  and the scooters just kept on going.  And so did the neighbors.   I love Spring.

  17. Andrew, are they allowed to drive in the street? The guy I referred to above wasn’t on the sidewalk. I can handle the devil-may-care ones on the sidewalk, but he came from behind a van right in the road. Very dangerous.

  18. They will fine the parents.  This happened to someone I know.  A neighbor bought a stupid gas powered motorcycle for his kid.  He took him on the street and was turned in very quickly.  He then took him to Floyd Bennet Field.  Busted by the police there and ticketed. He was a police officer and told the park police this, the park police officer basically told him, “yeah, and”, and gave him a nice big fat ticket for an uninsured, unregistered vehicle, and riding the thing where he wasn’t allowed to be riding.

  19. I see that person all the time also.  His “driving” skills leave alot to be desired.  Cops should give him a ticket for going through reds, not stopping for stop signs, riding in traffic, potential to hurt people.  Sometimes I feel like bumping him, but I really am not that mean.  It’s a fantasy!

  20. Private property is just that – private.  You can’t just walk on to someone elses property and do what you want.  There have to be rules and regulations, and the city/state/fed have plenty of them.

  21. nolastname, I too have a prick kid like that. He always drives down the wrong way of my block and gives you death stares if you’re trying to drive your car down the block. All hours of the night too.

  22. Turns out an old lady in a motorized wheel chair is breaking the law. In this case, the law is an ass…

  23. Motorized bikes and scooters that don’t go above 15 mph are allowed in NYC: “For the
    purposes of this section, the term motorized scooter shall not include
    wheelchairs or other mobility aids designed for use by disabled persons,
    electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour
    or “electric personal assistive mobility devices” defined as
    self-balancing, two non-tandem wheeled devices designed to transport one
    person by means of an electric propulsion system.”

  24. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    Scooter For Handicapped Person

    Keep Posting:)

  25. Just to be clear, it is only ELECTRIC scooters and non street legal bikes that are illegal. Gas powered scooters that can be registered are still fine.

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