Californians May Soon Need Driver License to Ride Electric Bikes

Californians May Soon Need Driver License to Ride Electric Bikes

People ride bicycles in car-free streets during a CicLAvia event in Culver City, Calif., on March 3, 2019. (Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

7/26/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

A license may soon be required for e-bike riders without an active driver’s license after California Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner (D-Encinitas) authored AB 530, which she announced in a July 14 press release.
Children under the age of 12 would also be prohibited from riding e-bikes under the legislation.
The bill would create a training program for those over 12 without an active driver’s license through partnerships with the DMV, California Highway Patrol, the state’s transportation agency. Experts in the e-bike industry would also devise training materials for the three different e-bike classes, which are numbers 1 through 3 and are divided by speed and throttle capabilities.
Existing California law prohibits children under the age of 16 from riding class 3 e-bikes, which can travel up to 28 miles per hour.
Ms. Boerner said the bill aims to prevent injuries among youth.
“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,” she said in the press release.
She also said the bill would educate parents on how to teach their children to safely navigate California cities on e-bikes.
“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,” Ms. Boerner said.
In Orange County, some cities already have or are looking into passing their own ordinances to regulate e-bikes.
In San Clemente, class 3 e-bikes are not allowed on San Clemente trails, and all e-bikes are banned from the San Clemente Beach trail.
The city of Irvine is also soon looking to adopt an ordinance regulating e-bikes after a first reading of an ordinance July 11, which would limit speed to 20 mph on city bike paths and trails and cap it on city streets at 28 mph.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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