FOX 5 San Diego

New California law looks to develop statewide safety standards for e-bikes

SAN DIEGO, CA – Electric bikes have moved well beyond a trend and are clearly not only here to stay, but growing exponentially.

“E-bikes are amazing for kids.” said Will Rhadagin, advocacy director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, adding, “I think they have given so many kids around San Diego a new kind of freedom.” 

With that freedom, however, comes responsibility. That responsibility now includes safety training and education.

Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a bill that will provide funds to the California Highway Patrol to develop statewide standards for e-bike safety. 

“This bill is asking CHP to create a training program that will be available online so any school could use,” said California Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath.

While the majority of bicyclists follow the rules of the road, cities have seen an increase of pre-teens and teenagers breaking rules and engaging in dangerous behavior, according to the new law. It goes on to say without statewide safety education and training standards, local authorities are faced with addressing e-bike safety concerns without direction or tools to educate riders. 

Rhatigan says he hopes the state won’t stop with these steps.

“Follow up with another bill that would require some kind of e-bike education in schools – that would be really powerful and not just the e-bike education, but in general, bike education.”

CHP has until September 2023 to roll out the program.