Police say they seized 14 e-bicycles and arrested their riders in New Territories early this week in the first reported anti-e-mobility “Goldensun” operation of the year.
11 men and 3 women, aged from 28 to 73, were arrested during the two-day operation on Monday and Tuesday in Tai Po, Tuen Mun, Tin Shui Wai and Sheung Shui.
“The police remind the public that electric mobility tools are not suitable for use on the road with ordinary cars, nor are they suitable for use on sidewalks or cycle tracks,” said a police statement.
As has become customary, police threw a book of charges at the riders, including riding an unlicensed vehicle, riding without insurance, riding without an approved helmet and riding without a licence.
The operation brings the number of e-mobility devices seized by the government in the last five months to 66.
While the use of such machines remains illegal in Hong Kong, Transport Department says it is working on the details of a second e-mobility trial expected to be held around the Hong Kong Science Park later this year, after a limited trial in January and February 2021.
Earlier it was revealed the automotive lobby group Automobile Association (AA) had a seat at the closed-door talks discussing that trial, while the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance was shut out. Transport Department has not commented on the arrangements.
In the UK, the AA has supported legislating e-scooters for use on roads where cycling is allowed and capping speeds at 15 mph, while it has not spoken publicly on e-bikes. Ireland’s AA has pushed for mandatory insurance and licensing for e-scooter users.
Sources with knowledge of the trial details say it is likely that e-bikes would be limited to below 20 kg with electric assist up to 25 kph and limited in length to 1.8 metres. E-scooters and monowheels would also be limited to 25 kph under the trial proposals.
The rules would prohibit e-cargo bikes from taking part in the trials.
For the weekend trials held earlier this year, participants needed a driving licence, a helmet, third-party insurance and an approved device and had to pay a $820 fee to take part.