Encinitas, California recently declared a state of emergency due to a tragic rise in e-bike crashes after the deaths of 15-year-old Brodee Champlain-Kingman in June and 35-year-old Christine Hawk-Embree last August. Brodee was riding an e-bike on South El Camino Real when he was struck by a commercial van. Christine was riding an e-bike home from the park with her 16-month-old daughter, Delilah, when a Toyota 4-Runner struck them. Delilah, who was strapped into a safety seat and wearing a helmet, was miraculously not hurt.
Eugene Bruno & Associates wants to shed light on the dangers associated with e-bikes, especially when ridden by inexperienced young riders. Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are popular with those seeking eco-friendly and adventurous transportation, but a lack of awareness about safety can lead to severe injuries, even death. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dangers e-bike riders, and especially teens, face and what each of us can do about this growing problem.
The Potential Risks of E-bikes
E-bikes are more thrilling than bicycles because their electric motors make them much faster and more powerful. Motorized e-bikes make uphill climbs and longer distances a breeze and some can reach speeds exceeding 55 mph. While many e-bikes are equipped with speed regulators, these are easily disabled. In fact, how-to videos are all over YouTube, and this is something e-bike manufacturers seem to be aware of but ignore. E-bikes may look like bicycles, but they aren’t. They are much more powerful and, therefore, much more dangerous than bicycles, especially when ridden by teens with limited or no driving experience.
Implementing E-bike Safety Standards
E-bikes fall somewhere between pedal-powered bicycles and motor vehicles and seem to enter a grey area when it comes to which safety standards should apply. Assemblymember Tasha Boerner of San Diego’s 77th District, which includes the coastal communities from Carlsbad to Coronado, has put forward Assembly Bill 530. AB 530 would strengthen e-bike safety regulations, including requiring e-bike licensing with an online written test and a state-issued photo ID for teens without a valid driver’s license. It would prohibit children under age 12 from riding e-bikes and would establish an e-bike safety training program and license. The bill is currently under consideration in the California Assembly.
AB 530 is set to go to committee soon. If you would like to add your voice to the debate about e-bike safety, you can send comments to Assemblymember Boerner here.
As your trusted personal injury law firm, Eugene Bruno & Associates is dedicated to protecting the rights and well-being of our community. We urge parents and teens to take e-bike safety seriously. While e-bikes can be fun and eco-friendly, their dangers should not be taken lightly.
By educating ourselves about the dangers of e-bikes, we can work together to create a safer environment for everyone on the roads. Let’s prioritize safety, foster awareness, and avoid the heartache of preventable accidents.
E-bike Accidents: We’re Here to Help
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident involving an e-bike, you can put your trust in Eugene Bruno & Associates. Our experienced San Diego team is here to help you explore your legal options.
The experienced attorneys at Eugene Bruno & Associates are committed to protecting the rights of every client and are prepared to advocate on your behalf. Reach out to us at 1-888-BRUNO-88 (1-888-278-6688) for a free consultation.
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