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The original item was published from 9/27/2023 10:52:17 AM to 10/5/2023 1:59:55 PM.

News Flash


Posted on: September 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] E-Bike Awareness

25mph sign

Earlier this month, the Mill Valley Police Department and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition partnered to offer the first Teen E-Bike Safety Class for juveniles who were contacted by the Mill Valley Police Department.  Following the enactment of the new Mill Valley Electric Mobility Device Ordinance, our officers have been contacting e-bike riders who are observed to be operating their e-bike in an unsafe manner.  Rather than issuing a citation that introduces the juvenile to the criminal justice system, they are instead referred to an e-bike safety course that allows that juvenile to better understand the rules of the road and educates them on the importance of riding their bicycles safely to better avoid injuring themselves or others. 

Our officers are commonly asked what the police department is looking for, as it relates to unsafe behavior.  While the list is extensive, the majority of the issues we see are related to unsafe speed, failure to stop at stop signs/red lights, riding on the sidewalk and failure to wear a safety helmet.  The police department was recently asked what it considers an unsafe speed on an e-bike to be.  The answer to that question varies somewhat based on current e-bike regulations.  Generally speaking, the speed limit for the roadway governs the speed at which an operator may travel.  However, e-bikes that may be operated on the roadway in California fall into three classes.  Class 1 and Class 2 have a top speed of 20MPH and Class 3 has a top speed of 28MPH.  If an e-bike has a top speed that exceeds 28MPH, it should not be on the road as it falls outside of the three classes of street legal e-bikes. While the laws contained within the California Vehicle Code can be convoluted, it is important to note that we do see issues surrounding unsafe speed, and our officers are taking action when those observations are made. 

For those who have children operating these devices, we ask that you educate them on safe riding habits and the possible consequences of being involved in a collision.  We would like to thank the community for their attention to e-bike safety, and to the many e-bike operators who ride their bicycles in a safe and lawful manner. 

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