An e-bike rider in Sham Shui Po was arrested for obstruction of justice and other traffic offences today after he allegedly tried to conceal his e-bike’s electric apparatus from police.
The 40-year-old rider was one of 30 people on bikes pulled over by police during a day-long anti-cycling sting in the district and was arrested for e-bike offences when officers discovered he was riding an e-bike. But after his arrest, police said the man then tried to “damage the power supply device of the electric bicycle involved”. They then also arrested him on suspicion of obstruction of justice.
Both the man and another 20-year-old were held by police on the usual slate of e-bike charges: driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a valid driving licence, using a vehicle without third-party insurance and driving without an approved protective helmet. They were later released on bail and must report back to police in early March.
Another 28 cyclists on regular bikes were summonsed on suspicion of riding bicycles on the pavement, riding without lights or bells and failing to obey traffic lights or traffic sign regulations.
In a statement, police said that e-bikes were not suitable for sharing the road with “ordinary cars” and were not suitable for using on pavements or cycle paths either. “They are likely to cause traffic accidents and cause injuries to the rider or other road users,” police said.
E-bikes have become the most popular vehicle for food delivery riders in some districts, with a Transit Jam survey in December finding three quarters of delivery riders in Tsim Sha Tsui used electric bicycles.
While currently illegal, insiders say the government will legalise certain e-bikes and e-scooters this year, although their use would be likely be permitted only on cycle tracks. Under those proposed laws, e-bikes would still be illegal to use on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, as these areas have no cycle tracks.
In a statement about the anti-cycling operation, police also said that cyclists “should wear approved protective helmets while riding”: in fact, helmets are not required while riding in Hong Kong at present although the government is seeking to change the law and make helmets mandatory at some point this year.