The Officer-in-charge of traffic in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Assistant Superintendent Raun Clark, has expressed concern over the use of electric bikes on public roadways. This comes hours after a 57-year-old woman was injured after colliding with a motorcar while riding one of those electric bikes.
The Divisional Traffic Officer weighing in on the use of these new electric-type bikes on the roadways, saying much more caution is needed in their use.
It was only in October that a labourer riding an electric bike was pinned and killed by being crushed by a lorry at Kilcoy, Corentyne; and on Wednesday last, the rider of an electric bike passed away two weeks after being involved in an accident in East Canje.
Concern has been expressed by many road users over the use of electric-type cycles, especially by young children, many of whom do not know traffic signs and laws. In a social media post on Thursday, a resident, Imran Amin, related, “Here is the craziness of these persons riding the electric bikes, persons who would not even ride a bicycle on the road you will see riding these electric bikes.”
However, according to Clark, there is no law for the Traffic Department to enforce against the users of those cycles. He expressed concern that there is no standard age range to use them.
“So, what we find is that we have children using these cycles with no prior knowledge as it relates to the rules of the road, and they are using the cycles weaving in and out of traffic, which is very dangerous. One of the disadvantages with the electric cycles is that they do not keep any noise so as to alert other road users, including drivers, that they are approaching. So, what you find is that these cycles travelling at a fast rate of speed and are upon you without any prior indication,” Clark noted.
The Traffic Department, he noted, would be reaching out to that category of road users, and even the parents of some in that category, advising children to use the bikes only in safe environments.
“I am advising road users to ensure that they use the road in a safe manner, because there is no age range for persons using electric cycle, and it is very difficult for our department at this time. However, we were trying to educate road users across the region on a daily basis, which we anticipate may mitigate against the rising number of accidents,” he said.
Meanwhile, as it relates to the use of helmets, the Assistant Superintendent said that, by law, electric bikes cannot be driven, only ridden, hence the law cannot mandate the use of such protective gear. However, he said that, in the interest of the rider’s own safety, users are advised to use crash helmets when riding electric bikes on the roadway.