Helmets for all: deployment of the new regulations on electric bikes
Example of future public ebike helmets
Kunming officials are looking to reform the streets by strengthening the application of e-bikes across the city … again. The latter policy, jointly released on August 23 by the Public Security Bureau, the Urban Management Administration Bureau and the Market Surveillance and Administration Bureau, includes eleven articles relating to electric two-wheelers. Article six states that the driver and passenger of any electric bicycle or scooter must wear a helmet. Other notable points are the mandatory provisions on helmet wearing by bike-sharing companies, strict parking along the street and the shame of the community as an additional repercussion on traffic violations.
Electric bikes for public sharing such as “Hello” and “Green”, if not equipped with a helmet, will be collected and confiscated on the streets. This will make existing helmet laws much easier to enforce, as unprotected biker noggers can very well stand out like sore thumbs among the sea of armored heads.
While red lights and contra-flow are part of the traffic laws that should be more stringently enforced, illegal parking can also result in a penalty. All electric bikes, including public sharing bikes, must be parked in the same direction in an orderly manner within designated areas. Any vehicle found in violation will be towed after two hours.
These new rules update regulations published two years ago in 2019, which introduced the definition of what constitutes an electric bicycle and the licensing requirements for those bicycles.
With an increasing number of e-bikes on the road and a significant number of e-bike-related accidents, according to Kunming Traffic Police, it is understandable why these regulations are being put in place. Head injuries directly related to e-bike crashes are widespread, and the correct use of helmets can reduce death rates from e-bike and motorcycle crashes by 60-70%.
Teach schoolchildren the importance of headphones
Traffic police and other authorities are working to reduce the number of e-bike-related deaths and injuries on several fronts. Efforts are being made in schools in the city to educate children on the need to wear helmets. In turn, parents are meant to be models of headgear. Hopefully, this education surge, along with more stringent immediate consequences for not wearing a helmet, will reduce the number of preventable injuries.
In addition to fines and possible forfeiture of bikes, official policy states that non-compliant cyclists will also receive social pressure via public notification from their employer and the community. This could cost the penalized workplace or community the esteemed “civilized” (??) Title.
Already, the Kunming Traffic Police website lists many names of delivery people penalized for not obeying the traffic laws. The website is also explicit about the reasons for these increasingly stringent regulations by featuring numerous videos involving e-bike crashes.
So strap on your helmets, Kunming!
Images: Kunming Traffic Police, JiaXing
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