E-Bike Safety Awareness

You see them everywhere, E-Bikes!

The Goleta City Council officially proclaimed January 19th as the first ever Electric Assisted Bike Safety Awareness Day at its January 17 meeting. View the proclamation here. Kent Epperson, Director of Traffic Solutions from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), was on hand to accept the Proclamation from the City Council.

As in many California communities, Santa Barbara County has seen a noticeable increase in e-bike use by people of all ages over the last couple years. While there are many benefits to e-bikes, studies show that a rapid increase in less experienced, higher speed bicyclists can result in more collisions with pedestrians and other road users, leading to injury and sometimes even death.

To improve public safety, the State of California has passed e-bike safety laws that regulate who and where each of the three types of e-bikes can lawfully be ridden and that riders 17 years of age and under must always wear a helmet.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is developing statewide safety standards and training programs based on evidence-based practices for e-bike users which are scheduled to be launched next summer.

E-bikes can bring joy and a sense of freedom, but that no matter what type of bike you ride, some collisions can be avoided by practicing common sense safety including:

  1. Checking your battery, brakes, chain, and tire pressure before you ride;
  2. Wearing a helmet and visible clothing whether you are a rider or passenger;
  3. Watching your speed by riding slowly and respectfully on multi-use paths or where pedestrians are present;
  4. Riding predictably, using hand signals and keeping eye contact to communicate your movements with other vehicles;
  5. Avoiding texting, talking on the phone, or listening to loud music while riding; and
  6. Obeying traffic signs, signals, and roadway laws just as cars are required.

Information regarding E-Bike Awareness Day, the Safety Pledge and other e-bike safety information can be found on the Traffic Solutions website.   

Pictured: Kent Epperson receiving the proclamation from Mayor Paula Perotte