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California legislation would ban kids under 12 from operating e-bikes

Published July 24, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BRAIN) — A California lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for kids under 12 to operate an e-bike. It also would require e-bike riders who don't have driver's licenses to take an online test and have state-issued identification.

The legislation, AB 530, was sponsored by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner. Currently, children under 16 are prohibited from using Class 3 e-bikes in California. This bill would not change that, but it would require kids aged 12-16, who can't get regular driver's licenses, to take the test and get what amounts to an e-bike license. 

The legislation would create a stakeholders working group that includes the Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol, the Transportation Agency, bike groups, and others to establish an e-bike training program and license.

"As a mother and a legislator, I believe that we must act to prevent our youth from injuries and educate parents on the promise and responsibility of e-bikes, and AB 530 is another step to increase their safety while sharing the road," Boerner said in a press release. "Not every parent is a bike rider that can ensure our youth receive proper training. This takes a real commitment from our communities and our state. It will be a long process, and AB 530 is a critical starting point that we’ll continue to work to develop through meetings with stakeholders this fall."

Boerner's district includes Carlsbad and Encinitas, both of which have made emergency proclamations calling for increased education and enforcement after several crashes involving the bikes. 

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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