The first-ever electric bike (e-bike) safety awareness day will take place on Thursday, Jan 19. The public is invited to Downtown Santa Barbara’s FitFest on Jan. 19 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the State Street Promenade at De La Guerra Street. Community members will be able to experience fun-filled fitness activities as well as e-bike safe riding techniques, demonstrations, and test rides, and complete a safety pledge to enter their Rad Power Bike giveaway.
The Goleta City Council will officially proclaim January 19 as E-Bike Safety Awareness Day at its January 17 meeting.
As in many California communities, Santa Barbara County has seen a noticeable increase in e-bike use by people of all ages over the last couple of years. While there are many benefits to e-bikes, studies show that a rapid increase in less experienced, higher-speed bicyclists can result in more collisions with pedestrians and other road users, leading to injury and sometimes even death.
To improve public safety, the State of California has passed e-bike safety laws that regulate who and where each of the three types of e-bikes can lawfully be ridden and that riders 17 years of age and under must always wear a helmet.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is developing statewide safety standards and training programs based on evidence-based practices for e-bike users, which are scheduled to be launched next summer.
E-bikes can bring joy and a sense of freedom, but no matter what type of bike you ride, some collisions can be avoided by practicing common sense safety, including:
- Checking your battery, brakes, chain, and tire pressure before you ride;
- Wearing a helmet and visible clothing whether you are a rider or passenger;
- Watching your speed by riding slowly and respectfully on multi-use paths or where pedestrians are present;
- Riding predictably, using hand signals and keeping eye contact to communicate your movements with other vehicles;
- Avoiding texting, talking on the phone, or listening to loud music while riding; and
- Obeying traffic signs, signals, and roadway laws just as cars are required.
Information regarding E-Bike Awareness Day, the Safety Pledge and other e-bike safety information can be found on the Traffic Solutions website.