500,000 Electric Bikes to be Affected by New Ban

500,000 electric bikes to be affected by new banFrom June 6 to December 5 the police will be imposing a ban on electric bikes all throughout the city except parts of Guangming and Pingshan plus four subdistricts in Longgang District. Around 500,000 electric bikes will be affected and violators of the ban will be fined 200 yuan.

The ban is to control the number of accidents that involve electric bikes. Traffic police said that in 2008, 38 people were killed in accidents that involved electric bicycles. Accidents involving electric bikes has been gradually increasing every year. From 167 accidents in 2008, 230 accidents in 2009 and 268 in 2010. Accidents with electric bikes were higher than traffic accidents that involved other vehicles.

Most electric bikes users ignore traffic rules, making them more prone to accidents, with many of them are ignoring red lights, parking illegally, occupy vehicle lanes and endangering pedestrians. Since there are no designated bike lanes for these types of bicycles, most of the accidents and violations have already been disrupting road traffic.

Since 2008, traffic police have issued almost 3 million violations and confiscated around 33,400 bikes, but still the problem remains and every effort is being made to control the situation.

*This article has been edited to correct the amount of the fine initially published as 20RMB, where in fact it is 200RMB, we apologize for the mistake.

18 Comments for “500,000 Electric Bikes to be Affected by New Ban”

  1. Lets be honest, the problem is that it’s always young guys with bad attitudes that are always driving these bikes badly.

    Use some of China’s wealth to start a program of education meaning anyone who wants to ride one of these bikes must go through a days training on how to ride them safely, then they get a license. Any rider without a license will have bike taken away.

    With all the new electric charging stations being built around SZ, it seems illogical to now ban these e-vehicles. They are the mobility of the poor and the poor are part of the masses and if I’m not mistaken should therefor be served by the party with equal judgement and fairness, or is that not the case?

    • *Applause*

      Sounds like a practical argument – in line with current realities – though I don’t know the cost/efficacy comparison of implementing and enforcing a ban vs a new licensing program. I imagine a licensing program with training would be more complex – involving a mix of private biz and government body work. I’ve still very curious as to how much thought was actually put in it if any at all.. if I had to guess I would say it spent all of 30 seconds on the table..

      The basis on which they are justifying the ban is anything but unique to that form of transportation – it’s bogus – again I’m curious about the real reason – and I’ve no doubt it has to do with money.

      • Well they said that it would stand until December when it would be up for review. I assume it’s due to the Universiade first and perhaps in the interest of taking the time to think through a logical solution.

  2. Jonathan Shipman

    I have had an e-bike for about 5 years on China . I’ll guess most of those accidents have been with taxi’s. My bike has saved me a lot of time and money, so i will pay the 20 rmb fine and continue to commute on it. I think they should focus more on air pollution and enforcing traffic laws.

    • Hi Jonathan, it appears there was an error in the article. The fine is in fact 200RMB, not 20RMB.

      • Jonathan Shipman

        Hey Dan , I guess i will wait till I accumulate 1000 rmb in fines in a month because that is about how much I save each month with my e-bike!.

    • Speak English – that should still work for minimizing the number of fines you receive.

  3. “…From 167 accidents in 2008, 230 accidents in 2009 and 268 in 2010. Accidents with electric bikes were higher than traffic accidents that involved other vehicles.”

    What ? There are less than 300 traffic accidents involving cars ? Doesn’t that seem a litlle low ?

  4. Total ban is crazy – there are a sleu of small businesses that depend on those devices to fulfill their services (ever ordered delivery food? Water by the jug?) even some logistics companies make use them. I raise an eyebrow at the “e-bikes are relatively more dangerous” idea – I’ve experienced equal degrees of chaos and disregard for rules by all forms of transpiration on the road in Shenzhen. Banning taxis would have a far greater effect on limiting the number of traffic incidents and fatalities and would be even more absurd :-)

    • I think dump trucks are worse, but you have a point. That said, at least taxis have license plates, driver’s certificates, and by extension: accountability. These guys on e-bikes don’t care what happens, if they knock someone off their feet and break a hip, they’ll just keep on going, or in my case, look back at me like I had just intentionally walked out in front of him while he was ripping through a parking lot at 30kmph. Perhaps regulation is an option, but implementing it would be next to impossible.

      • True! Perhaps that is the real underlying issue – practical implementation of regulations that would hold ebikers accountable. Would love to know how this conversation developed in the gov and the reasons they decided to crack down/solutions discussed – perhaps the governors son’s best friends girlfriends dog was a tragic fatality of one of these ebike incidents.

        • I think it’s simply a case of Government employees driving BMWs and not e-bikes to work, not to mention the fact that e-bike drivers swerving in and out of traffic, on and off sidewalks looks bad and disrupts traffic.

          I personally hate them because you can’t hear them coming, you just get smoked .

  5. Well, “most electric bikes users ignore traffic rules, making them more prone to accidents, with many of them are ignoring red lights, parking illegally, occupy vehicle lanes and endangering pedestrians”. Isn’t that general behavior of vehicle-drivers (motorized or otherwise)? Just sit outside any of the pubs at Rosegarden in Shekou on any given night and watch normal bicycles buzzing by on the walkway, many of them driven by foreigners, with complete disregard to pedestrians, playing kids or pooches, crashing occasionally into the potted plants placed there. So there isn’t much difference to the e-bikes, if you ask me, it’s a sad situation anywhere and with all kinds of vehicles. I, for one, regret the total ban of e-bikes. There ought to be an alternative – make it mandatory for all drivers of motorized vehicles to pass a test and licensing the drivers, for a start?

    • You won’t see it quite as much around Rose Garden, but around Futian these guys rip around at speed with little to no regard for the safety of pedestrians around them, much like they did on motorcycles before they were banned. Perhaps a total ban isn’t the answer, maybe there should be a licensing process that can be phased in later, for the short term though, I won’t shed a tear.

      • In case my bias isn’t apparent – I own an ebike! :-) – though my thighs would benefit if it were impounded.

        • I’ve thought of getting one, but haven’t been in a position to fully benefit from it, what with taxis being everywhere and the short distances to travel. I can understand you bias though.

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