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E-bike Information

The Atherton Police Department has shared this e-bike information for MPCSD families:

With the advent and popularity of E-Bikes, we often receive questions/concerns about the laws regarding E-Bikes, and concerns about safety, especially when it comes to kids. E-Bike safety is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience, whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist.  E-Bikes, which are equipped with electric motors to assist with pedaling, can reach higher speeds than traditional bicycles, making safety precautions even more critical. 

Read this Q&A on California’s E-Bike Law that you and your family need to be aware of if you own and operate an E-Bike.

Here are some tips for E-Bike safety, provided by the Atherton Police Department:

  1. Wear Appropriate Safety Gear:
    • Always wear a properly fitted helmet to protect your head in case of a fall or collision.
    • Consider wearing gloves, knee and elbow pads, and reflective clothing to increase visibility, especially when riding at night.
  2. Learn How to Operate Your E-Bike:
    • Familiarize yourself with the e-bike's controls, including how to adjust the power assist level and use the brakes.
    • Practice riding in a controlled environment to get used to the e-bike's handling, especially if you're new to electric bikes.
  3. Observe Traffic Rules and Laws:
    • E-bikes are subject to the same traffic laws and regulations as regular bicycles in many areas. Familiarize yourself with local laws and obey traffic signals and signs.
    • Ride in the same direction as traffic flow and use bike lanes when available.
  4. Be Aware of Speed:
    • E-bikes can reach higher speeds than traditional bicycles.  Be aware of your speed, especially when riding in congested areas, and adjust your speed accordingly.
    • Respect speed limits and restrictions imposed by local authorities.
  5. Keep Your E-Bike Maintained:
    • Regularly inspect and maintain your e-bike, including checking the brakes, tires, lights, and electrical components.
    • Ensure that the battery is charged before each ride and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for battery care.
  6. Be Visible:
    • Use lights, reflectors, and reflective clothing to make yourself visible to other road users, especially in low-light conditions or at night.
    • Use a bell or horn to signal your presence to pedestrians and other cyclists.
  7. Maintain Safe Following Distances:
    • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians to give yourself ample time to react to unexpected situations.
  8. Pay Attention to Road Conditions:
    • Be cautious when riding on wet or slippery roads, as e-bikes can have powerful acceleration.
    • Watch out for potholes, gravel, and other road hazards that could cause you to lose control.
  9. Avoid Distractions:
    • Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions like texting or using a smartphone while riding.
  10. Consider Taking a Safety Course:
    • If you're new to e-biking or want to improve your skills, consider taking a safety course or seeking guidance from experienced riders.

Remember that e-bike safety is a shared responsibility between riders and other road users.  Being a responsible and considerate e-bike rider can help enhance safety for everyone on the road.