E-bikes, a safe way to ride to school?


Carter Ruttenburg

E-bikes have risen in popularity amongst teens as a new way to get to school. Students are encouraged to wear helmets and ride in the bike lane while riding their e-bikes.

Carter Ruttenburg, Reporter

E-bikes have risen in popularity since students who can’t drive have started riding them to school. It is important to stay safe on the road whether you are in a car or on an e-bike.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, over 100 bicyclists are killed and over 1,000 are injured every year in collisions. In a poll of e-bike riders asking if they wear helmets while riding, 22% of responses stated that they do not wear a helmet.

“I always wear a helmet when I ride my bike,” Freshman Jason Ricker said.

The DMV website states that all bicyclists have to wear a helmet if they are under 18. The website also says that riders must always wear a helmet on the top of their head and not to the back or side. The DMV says that e-bike riders can wear other safety gear like elbow and knee pads. They can help protect the rider, but they are not required.

“I don’t wear shoulder pads or knee pads because I don’t think they are necessary,” Freshman Julian Ramirez said.

The DMV says it is safer to ride in the bike lane than on the road while riding an e-bike. Riding in the bicycle lane is an easy way to avoid accidents on the road as well.

“I ride in the bike lane unless there is no bike lane, then I ride in the road,” Ricker said.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, when you reach an intersection, never make a left turn from the right side of the road, even if you are in the bicycle lane. A bicycle lane follows specific width requirements and is clearly marked as a bike lane with symbols and/or signs for riders’ safety.

“I have been in an accident,” Ramirez said. “The driver was on their phone and their car pushed me and my bike over.”

Even though e-bikes are new, drivers still need to be careful when driving and make sure to share the road. E-bikes are a great way for students to gain freedom.

“I think e-bikes are important because it opens a lot of opportunities for students to go places without having to drive,” Ramirez said.