Why have California colleges started banning e-bikes?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Bicycle Accidents |

E-bikes have been rising in popularity in California for years. They have become a common sight in many areas, with rental fleets available for quick and convenient transportation. In addition to pay-per-use e-bikes and e-scooters, there are also thousands of people who own their own low-speed electric transportation devices. E-scooters and e-bikes are popular among those with limited budgets and minimal transportation needs. They have no fuel expenses, require minimal maintenance and do not generate costly liability insurance obligations. They are therefore ideal tools for individuals attending college courses.

However, some California colleges and universities have implemented rules restricting or outright prohibiting e-bikes and e-scooters on campus. What has led to those new rules?

Safety concerns for students

The top-cited reason for rules limiting the use of electric personal transportation devices on college campuses is student safety. There are a host of safety issues that come from e-bike and e-scooter use. The first and most obvious is the possibility that the person riding an e-bike or e-scooter will strike a pedestrian. They can cause serious injuries to pedestrians, including broken bones or brain injuries.

These vehicles are also dangerous for the people riding them. E-scooters, in particular, can be dangerous when people encounter potholes or sections of uneven pavement. A tire can strike an obstacle and send someone flying off of the e-scooter. Concerns about liability are one reason why some campuses have either banned e-scooters and/or e-bikes or limited the areas where people can operate these transportation devices. CSU Los Angeles and Los Angeles Pierce College, for example, do not allow students to use either e-bikes or e-scooters on campus.

Concerns about parking and aesthetics

Colleges and universities often invest quite a bit into the maintenance of their facilities. They want the buildings and outside spaces to be attractive. Those writing e-bikes and e-scooters may park them haphazardly, which can lead to unattractive views and also inconvenience for those trying to access certain spaces on campus. Additionally, parking near buildings can be a concern because of the fire hazards generated by electric transportation devices.

Knowing and following local rules is crucial for the safety of those riding e-bikes and even standard bicycles. When accidents occur, it is also important to keep in mind that victims may benefit from seeking legal guidance, as they may be entitled to compensation as a result of their harm.