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Calendar >  City Of Carlsbad -New e-bike Safety Laws Now In Effect

City Of Carlsbad -New e-bike Safety Laws Now In Effect

By   /  May 5, 2022  /  No Comments

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The City of Carlsbad’s local laws that make it easier to enforce the safe and considerate use of e-bikes, motorized scooters, bicycles and other similar ways of getting around town are now in effect as of May 5. This means that police can issue citations or offer certain violators a safety course option instead of a citation. 

What are the new laws?Specifically, the ordinance says riders and operators:

  • Have a duty to always ride with care and to reduce speed when needed for safety 
  • Can’t have passengers on handlebars, floorboard or other areas of a bicycle, e-bike or similar motorized device that aren’t specifically made for additional riders
  • Can’t attach a bicycle, e-bike or similar motorized device to any moving vehicle or motorized or non-motorized wheeled device
  • Can’t operate or ride a bicycle, e-bike or similar motorized device on sidewalks, public drainage facilities, culverts, ditches, channels, or any public athletic sports court or gymnasium in the city
  • Must get off their bicycle, e-bike or similar motorized device on trails less than 5 feet wide when they’re within 50 feet of a pedestrian or horseback rider.

More e-bike safety rules, required by state law

Who is affected?

  • The updated ordinance covers a variety of motorized and non-motorized mobility devices including bicycles, e-bikes, electrically motorized boards, low-speed vehicles, motorized scooters, Segways, shared mobility devices such as electric scooters and other similar vehicles.
  • It doesn’t apply to the type of mobility devices that people with disabilities use to get around.

Why the change?

  • As the use of e-bikes has increased in Carlsbad over the past few years, so have the number of accidents.
  • There were 186 traffic collisions involving bicycles or e-bikes between January 2019 and December 2021. In 163 of those accidents, one or more people were injured.
  • The City Council, Carlsbad Police, city staff and community members have all observed people riding e-bikes unsafely or violating traffic laws and have raised concerns about the impact on public safety.
  • The updated ordinance prohibits a broad range of careless and reckless behavior on bicycles, e-bikes and similar motorized devices, while the State Vehicle Code violations for these types of vehicles are more limited in scope.
  • It also allows the city to be in charge of enforcement rather than referring all cases for prosecution in court, which is required for State Vehicle Code citations. 
  • For instance, the Police Department could choose to offer a safety course to offenders instead of a citation and a court-ordered fine. The course may do more to impact future behavior, especially for younger riders who may not be as familiar with the rules of the road.

More e-bike safety effortsThe City of Carlsbad and Carlsbad Police have implemented several other initiatives in the past few years to enhance e-bike safety, including several that are ongoing.

  • More enforcement of traffic safety rules and Vehicle Code violations
  • Created resources to explain laws governing e-bikes and provide safety tips
  • Hosted and promoted e-bike safety webinars and classes
  • Created public service announcements and social media campaigns promoting safety and the rules of the road
  • Working with the San Diego County Bike Coalition and local school districts to promote bicycle and e-bike safety, including through free classes.

 Looking ahead, the City of Carlsbad and Carlsbad Unified School District Parent University are hosting a bicycle and e-bike safety and education workshop for parents and students. 

Bicycle and e-bike safety and education workshopTuesday, May 24, 6 – 7 p.m.Pine Avenue Community CenterTo attend, RSVP to Rosemary Eshelman Student Services Specialist at reshelman@carlsbadusd.net

More information

City’s e-bike webpage

E-bike rules of the road

carlsbadcommuter.com

San Diego County Bike Coalition classes and events

News page

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