Police today arrested an e-bike rider in Cheung Chau, the second such arrest in the last few weeks.
A 31-year-old Cheung Chau resident was arrested for careless driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a licence, driving without third-party insurance and driving without an approved protective helmet. Police also seized the offending machine, a step-through bicycle with shopping basket and rear-mounted battery on a child-seat.
The force says Cheung Chau officers carried our “traffic enforcement operations to crack down on the illegal driving of electric [bicycles] to protect the safety of school children”.
In mid-August, a crackdown from police saw similar charges thrown at the rider of an e-cargo bike.
But a local resident says the e-bikes on Cheung Chau were rarely a danger. “I’ve seen one guy, once, going real fast, swerving past people; otherwise they’re not seeming dangerous to me,” he told Transit Jam.
“Pedal tricycles can seem more of a nuisance, ridden by first-timers who might find them hard to steer, bump into things at times,” he says.
Police say the machines are dangerous and illegal, and are neither suitable for use on the roads or cycle tracks. “The police urge the public not to try the law,” says a spokesperson.
Researchers in the UK last year found that a modal shift towards greater e-bike use could slash transport emissions by half. Replacing just 20% of motoring miles with electric bikes would save Britain four to eight million tonnes of CO2 annually, say researchers.