Police report that more teens misusing e-bikes in recent months

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Bicycle Accidents |

E-bikes are useful for many groups of people. They provide an alternate form of transportation for those who can’t afford bigger vehicles. They provide convenient and fast transportation for young adults who don’t yet have their driver’s licenses. They are also accessible to tourists who may not want to pay for a standard rental vehicle.

The popularity of e-bikes can help ease standard traffic congestion and may lead to better infrastructure for all cyclists. Unfortunately, e-bikes can also be a source of risk for numerous people. Pedestrians in many areas, including beach communities, have begun raising concerns about young adults using e-bikes to commit crimes.

There have been a rash of complaints and some incidents that have led to pedestrians suffering injuries. In Manhattan Beach, for example, there have been 115 e-bike citations issued so far in 2024. Concerns about the illegal or inappropriate use of e-bikes may lead to increased enforcement efforts.  Pedestrians may also end up concerned about paying for their losses after an incident caused by an e-bike rider.

How e-bikes can endanger pedestrians

There are many rules that govern e-bike use in California. Riders generally need to stay on the road rather than the sidewalks. Younger riders may need to wear helmets. The state also imposes a maximum speed limit for e-bikes.

Unfortunately, some bad actors have seemingly purchased electric motorcycles and begun treating them as though they were e-bikes. These motorcycles are capable of traveling at over 60 miles per hour in some cases. That is well over the maximum allowed speed for even the largest class of e-bike in California.

Additionally, young adults may use e-bikes and electric motorcycles to break the law or intimidate others. There have been cases of assaults involving young adults on e-bikes becoming aggressive toward pedestrians.

Young adults may engage in inappropriate conduct and then speed off on their e-bikes. They can cause harm directly by assaulting people or throwing fireworks. They could also cause harm unintentionally if they knock down pedestrians while trying to avoid arrest after doing something inappropriate.

Pedestrians injured by e-bike riders may need assistance holding the bike rider accountable for their injuries. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may be the only form of resource available, as teenagers may not have car insurance that covers any damage they cause on an e-bike.