The use of e-bikes is skyrocketing and so is the need for riders to understand how to operate them safely. That’s why the City expanded its first E-bike Safety Awareness Day in January 2023 to a week-long event this past January 2024. The goal is to bring an important topic of concern to the forefront, provide education and ultimately prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. Every E-bike rider should watch this important newly released E-bike safety video with our Community Resource Deputy Ehren Rauch who rides an e-bike at work and in his personal life. Watch the video here.
Deputy Rauch said, “Every day we have interactions that involve e-bikes and we often find that riders are not familiar with the laws that pertain to e-bikes. It’s important that anyone operating an e-bike understand they must follow the same traffic rules as vehicles.”
At the reading of the proclamation at the Goleta City Council Meeting on January 16, Mayor Paula Perotte said, “Electric bicycles are heavier and faster than standard bicycles and, without the proper safety education and training, e-bike riders have a higher risk of becoming severely injured or killed in a crash.”
The State of California has e-bike safety laws in place that regulate who and where each type of e-bike can lawfully be ridden and that riders 17 years of age and under must always wear a helmet. Of course, it is strongly recommended that e-bike riders of all ages wear a helmet.
“Practicing bike safety precautions, especially wearing a helmet, is essential to preventing or minimizing injury, regardless of age,” said Lauren Sutherlin, Trauma Nurse Coordinator at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. “Given the higher speeds associated with e-bikes, a properly fitting helmet significantly reduces the risk of serious head and brain injuries in the case of a fall or collision.”
According to the California Highway Patrol, there were more than 9,600 bicycle-involved crashes in California in 2022, 225 of which involved an e-bike (an increase over 80 the prior year) and four of which resulted in fatal injuries.
CHP has an on-line safety course available online at www.chp.ca.gov/Programs-Services/Services-Information/Bike-and-Ped-Safety.
The City partnered with MOVE Santa Barbara County, Goleta Police, CHP and Cottage Hospital to hand out more than 100 helmets to e-bike riders at Dos Pueblos High School, Goleta Valley Junior High (at lunch and after school) and at a Community E-bike Skills Class and Ride held on January 27.
Mayor Perotte enjoyed being at the event and handing out free helmets, bike lights, wheel reflectors, and many other bike safety items.
Thanks to everyone who was a part of making E-bike Safety Awareness Week in the City of Goleta a big success.
Pictured above: Mayor Perotte with two participants from the Community E-Bike Skills Class & Ride