Police arrested three cyclists and gave out nine tickets in a three-day Hong Kong Island operation to crack down on cyclists riding without bells, lights and the illegal use of e-bikes and e-scooters.
The operation hit the Peak, Chai Wan and Central districts from 27-29 March “in response to recent traffic accidents involving bicycles,” the police said.
“The action was mainly aimed at bicycle safety issues, such as ‘no bell’ and other serious bicycle violations such as non-compliance of traffic lights or traffic signs by cyclists,” said a police spokesman. The action also aimed to tackle illegal e-bikes and e-scooters.
A total of three men, aged between 26 and 42, were arrested for “driving an unregistered vehicle”, “driving without a valid driver’s licence” and using a vehicle without third-party insurance. Police kept three electric mobility devices, and also issued nine summonses to eight cyclists on charges of riding bicycles without bells and violations of traffic signs.
Use of e-bikes and e-scooters on public roads is illegal in Hong Kong – as “mechanically propelled”, they have been classed as motor vehicles, requiring licences under law – and Transport Department has not granted any such vehicle licences. The department holds that users would also need a valid driver’s licence to use one, and e-bike riders have been successfully prosecuted.
The government says its stance against the mobility devices is due to road safety and product safety, pointing to the two separate fatal scooter accidents in Tseung Kwan O and Tai Po late last year; there have also been several fires, one fatal, involving poor quality scooters which have short-circuited and caught fire.
Nevertheless, there are thought to be more than a million e-bikes and e-scooters in the city, according to import records. The Transport Department says it is reviewing its position.