What are the foundations round e-bikes and are younger riders being protected? – NBC 7 San Diego
They’re all the trend: electrical bikes, higher often known as e-bikes.
In the previous couple of months, there was a surge of e-bikes on the streets and sidewalks, particularly in San Diego’s North County. And extra are on the best way quickly. The Encinitas Metropolis Council not too long ago accredited a pilot bike-share program, which can carry 100 e-bikes and 10 docking stations.
Jerry Wong is the supervisor of Gelato 101. The favored spot is positioned on the busy intersection of South Coast Freeway 101 and D Road in downtown Encinitas.
“They only flip every time they really feel prefer it,” Wong mentioned, referring to younger e-bike riders. Proper outdoors the store, he’s seen shut calls between e-bikes, pedestrians and vehicles. “More often than not it’s totally shut, folks honk their horn at them,” mentioned Wong.
E-bike gross sales have boomed because the pandemic, however as reputation will increase, communities categorical their security issues. NBC 7’s Allie Raffa is in Solana Seaside with extra.
NBC7 visited downtown Encinitas on three completely different days in July and August and arrange watch at a variety of busy intersections.
A majority of the e-bike riders we noticed have been younger pre-teens and youngsters. There isn’t a age requirement to journey most e-bikes in California. However in case you’re underneath 18, you are required to wear a helmet.
Whereas many of the riders we noticed have been following the foundations, we did catch some breaking the regulation.
Like rolling by cease indicators. When driving on the road, bikes must obey the identical site visitors guidelines as autos.
We additionally noticed bikes with two or three children piled on, which is against the law until there’s a everlasting passenger seat.
And e-bikes usually are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks within the downtown space of Encinitas, however we noticed just a few teenagers doing it.
Lucas Cavallaro loves driving his e-bike with pals. The 12-year-old mentioned, “I’ve seen much more children being reckless on e-bikes.”
We caught up with Lucas and two of his pals after they accomplished a free e-bike security class, one thing town of Encinitas gives month-to-month.
London Cote, 12, talked about what he discovered within the coaching. “One of the crucial essential issues I discovered was to make use of hand indicators.”
Merrick Johnson, 12, mentioned, “I’ve seen a few children who haven’t got their fingers on the steering wheel. They’re taking a look at their cellphone whereas they’re driving.”
Jacob Mandel is with the San Diego Bicycle Coalition. The group advocates for bike security and hosts these free e-bike security lessons in Encinitas.
“We’ve heard lots of people being upset, particularly within the North County concerning the explosion of e-bikes and the one factor I’ve to say to these folks is that e-bikes are coming, they will be right here,” Mandel mentioned.
Mandel says the problem will not be with the younger riders however with cities not having a protected house for cyclists to journey.
“I might say the primary factor is infrastructure after which schooling on methods to journey safely,” Mandel mentioned. “I might say anybody that’s upset about e-bikes of their neighborhood can be to exit and advocate for extra protected infrastructure and get these bikes off the sidewalk onto a protected protected bikeway and path.”
It’s unclear simply how usually individuals are getting damage on e-bikes regionally. NBC7 Investigates reached out to a variety of native police departments and hospitals. We discovered most usually are not monitoring e-bike accidents particularly, they get lumped in with common bicycle accidents. However UC San Diego Medical Middle is monitoring the information and says to date this 12 months, they’ve handled about 17 sufferers who have been damage whereas driving e-bikes.
In the meantime, in Encinitas, Wong says he’d wish to see town and sheriff’s division imposing e-bike guidelines, ensuring the streets and sidewalks are protected for everybody.
“We want for them to implement a chosen space for them to park or (ensure) they observe guidelines, protocols, helmet, no sidewalk driving, a sure mile per hour.”