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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

NY Disability Advocates Seeking E-Bike Safety Measures

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Tuesday, June 20, 2023   

Some New York groups are taking action to reduce the number of disabled people being hurt in e-bike crashes. According to New York City's crash mapper, there have been more than 1,200 incidents of e-bike, motorbike and bicycle crashes in the past year. A petition by Pedestrians for Bike Safety to implement safer cycling conditions garnered almost 5,000 signatures.

Jeff Peters, director of communications, Center for Independence of the Disabled New York, said at least one safety solution should be taken before more people get hurt or killed.

"The people who are using these vehicles simply need to adhere to traffic safety laws," he said. "We can't have people going through stop signs," Peters implored. "We can't have people going through red lights. It is a danger in itself. That is one of the key items, enforcement of traffic laws."

The problem is not unique to New York City. Areas across the state are facing similar issues. A report from GoBike finds the number of crashes involving bicyclists in Erie and Niagara counties declined between 2017 and 2020, but increased slightly in 2021. Fatal crashes involving cyclists in the same area fluctuated during the same period.

E-Bikes and e-scooters have garnered mixed opinions for their benefits for climate goals, although others recognize the dangers they present. Along with traffic issues, New York City has seen fires from e-bike batteries grow from 44 in 2020 to 220 in 2022. Peters said the complete course of action is unknown, but part of it must include better education about e-bikes.

"We push for education about these situations, education on how to use these specific vehicles, as well as enforcement of the laws and safety measures around those vehicles," he said.

He added re-evaluations will be needed to see what further action needs to be taken. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has proposed an action plan including better education on traffic safety.

Disclosure: Center for Independence of the Disabled New York contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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