Mayor Adams Launches Battery-Charging Pilot to Improve Delivery Worker Safety

Anyone who has ever lived, worked, or even visited New York City knows that the streets are often very crowded. Traffic jams can make a trip of a few blocks take half an hour or more. But traffic jams affect mostly cars, buses, and trucks. People riding bicycles often weave around the traffic, losing little time. Due to this, many delivery workers in New York City use e-bikes to get around. Unfortunately, as is often the case with newer technologies, many people aren’t entirely familiar with how lithium-ion batteries work in e-bikes. The NYC mayor wants to prevent delivery worker injuries from e-bike battery charging and has introduced a new pilot program to do so.

What Threat Do E-Bike Batteries Present?

Dangers Everyone Should Be Aware of Before Riding an E-Bike

The danger Mayor Adams is worried about isn’t from bike accidents or pedestrian accidents. Instead, he is concerned about fire hazards. Several incidents suggest that lithium-ion batteries are prone to overheating and catching on fire, especially when they are charged in an unsafe way. After several incidents were reported, Mayor Adams announced an action plan to investigate and find solutions for this potential problem.

While any fire, especially one in a public place, is a danger, lithium-ion fires are particularly concerning. Due to the substances involved in the fire, these fires are extremely difficult to extinguish. Additionally, they spread quickly, and the fumes that come from these fires are noxious. The battery-charging fires create worker injury risk for delivery riders and others who use e-bikes.

Lithium-ion batteries aren’t like normal fires. They spread quickly and release poisonous gas.

How Will the Charge Safe, Ride Safe Program Work?

What Steps Is the Mayor Taking?

The Charge Safe, Ride Safe Pilot Program has several parts. The first involves education. The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) is reaching out to micromobility users (people who use e-bikes and similar vehicles) and educating them on the dangers these devices present. Most fires aren’t caused by any defect but rather by users who don’t know how to safely recharge their devices. When they use an unsafe charging option, the battery or the charging device overheats, causing a dangerous fire.

Another step in this program is the enforcement of safety procedures and policies. While the technology is new, the legislature has already implemented safety regulations for it. Unfortunately, they aren’t always followed. Enforcement of these regulations will become more strict in the coming years. Fines will be handed out liberally to try to ensure that anyone using this technology or providing charging stations for it follows the safety regulations. Additionally, 311 calls about bike charging locations will be investigated within 12 hours by someone from a local fire station.

If you or a loved one was injured by an e-bike fire, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Tucker Lawyers at (516) 399-2364 as soon as possible to discuss your claim and find out whether you are eligible to receive money.

Probably the most ambitious part of this plan is the installation of over 200 charging and storage stations throughout the New York City area. The city is installing battery swapping stations and safe bike docks that will supply fast charging to bikes. The NYC Department of Transportation believes that e-bike use will continue to increase, making this new infrastructure a critical part of the NYC transportation network in the future.

How Much Will This Cost the City?

Due to the work of U.S. Senator Schumer, very little of the cost of this program will come from the city coffers. Congress gave New York City a grant of $25 million earmarked for installing charging and storage stations.

How Can You Avoid Getting Hurt in a Lithium-Ion Fire?

If you use an e-bike or some other type of micromobility device, you may be worried about being injured in a lithium-ion fire. This is a reasonable concern. Thankfully, you can take some reasonably basic safety measures to protect yourself.

First, avoid buying uncertified lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, these batteries aren’t currently banned, but the city is working on legislation that will likely ban them soon. For now, insist on purchasing certified batteries and don’t buy from dealers that won’t guarantee their products. If you think you have an uncertified battery, swap it out at a swapping kiosk once they are in place. This gets your bad battery out of circulation and gets you a safe one.

Second, avoid charging at any unsafe charging site. This means you should never charge at home. Home charging sites are one of the more likely places for a battery to catch on fire. You should also be wary of charging sites at local bike stores. Some are safe, but it is hard to tell the safe ones from the others. Once the city has installed these new charging locations, you will be able to trust them.

Contact Tucker Lawyers Immediately if You Were Burned by a Lithium-Ion Battery Overheating

Were you burned at an unsafe charging site or because someone sold you an unsafe battery? You may be owed compensation for the injuries you suffered.

If you are a delivery worker who was hurt on the job while charging an e-bike battery, contact our law firm right away at (516) 399-2364 to schedule a free consultation.

john tucker

Managing Attorney John. J. Tucker, Esq.

John has personally handled thousands of clients who were victims of another’s negligence and fights relentlessly for their rights. John enjoys bringing closure to a client’s matter so that the injured party can move forward with their life. His background enables him to evaluate complex liability related claims and bring resolution to claims in a record time frame. [ Attorney Bio ]

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