New e-bike rules go into effect in Carlsbad
New laws intended to curb the rapid rise in accidents involving electric bikes, scooters and other motorized mobility devices went into effect Thursday in Carlsbad.
It is now illegal, for example, to carry a passenger on the handlebars, floorboards or anywhere else on a bicycle or scooter that has not been specifically designed for additional riders.
Driving any of the motorized vehicles on sidewalks, public drainage facilities, culverts, ditches, canals, sports fields or gymnasiums is also prohibited, city officials said in a statement. press Thursday.
Riders must dismount their device whenever they come within 50 feet of a pedestrian or rider on a trail less than 5 feet wide, under the new rules. Mobility aids used by people with disabilities are exempt.
Violators could be fined up to $100 under the ordinance approved by Carlsbad City Council earlier this year. First-time offenders will be encouraged to take a police department safety course instead of paying the fine.
Previously, Carlsbad police could only cite e-bike violators under the California Vehicle Code, which has limited applications for e-bikes and other personal mobility devices.
Officers documented 39 collisions involving bicycles or e-bikes in 2020, followed by 63 collisions in 2021, and this year the number is on track to be higher, according to the police department.
Injuries occurred in 163 of 186 bicycle or e-bike collisions reported to police between January 2019 and December 2021. Additionally, the bicycle or e-bike driver was at fault in 72 of 99 reported collisions from January 2020 to July 2021, according to the gendarmerie.
The city and Carlsbad Unified School District will host a bicycle and e-bike safety workshop for parents and students from 6-7 p.m. May 24 at the Pine Avenue Community Center. Anyone interested should RSVP Rosemary Eshelman, Student Services Specialist, at [email protected]