As we have discussed before in this blog, e-bikes have become the hot new mode of transportation in California. These bikes, which use an electric motor to supplement or replace the rider’s pedal power, can reach speeds of 20-28 miles per hour, depending on the type of e-bike you use.
While e-bikes are faster and more powerful than traditional bikes, they do not provide riders with any more protection against dangerous drivers on the streets of Los Angeles, many of which still lack proper bike lanes. The number of accidents involving e-bikes has gotten the attention of lawmakers in the California State Assembly. But instead of taking action to protect riders from dangerous drivers, the Assembly is considering a bill regulating teenage e-bike users.
Age requirements and more
Assembly Bill 530 would ban children under 12 from riding e-bikes. Older riders would have to pass a written test online and have a driver’s license or a special state-issued identification. The bill would also direct the DMV, California Highway Patrol and other agencies to create an e-bike training program.
Is this the answer?
Training might be helpful, but age restrictions only address part of the problem. Motorists must be at least 16 to pass the test and get a driver’s license, but that does not prevent car accidents. More to the point, e-bike riders of all ages and experience levels are vulnerable to negligent car, truck and SUV drivers. Speeders, people who turn without signaling, distracted drivers and drunk drivers are just a few examples of individuals who can cause terrible e-bike accidents. When that happens, the rider could suffer major bodily harm that greatly reduces their ability to earn money, care for themselves and their loved ones and enjoy life.