e-bike - Google News

Thursday, June 18, 2009

eBikes as safe as conventional bikes but more law-abiding: federal study









The legislation that allows eBikes into the Canadian market shows that Power Assisted Bicycles and conventional bicycles are equally safe, according to 369 riders who tested them. There is no justification for statements that eBikes are "dangerous" compared with muscle-powered bikes, the report suggests.

Further, the research also found that eBike riders were more likely to obey traffic laws.

The federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act conducted research with 369 cyclists in four different cities (Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto and Saint-Jérôme). The cyclists tested eBikes over 25,205 kilometres. In Quebec, 211 of the study participants used them on their daily commutes to work.

The age of the participants ranged from 20 to 60 years, with a few over the age of 60. Nearly 25 per cent were women.

The study found that:

* 95 per cent of eBike riders felt they were in control of their eBike, while 96 per cent of conventional cyclists felt that they were in control of their conventional bicycle.
* 85 per cent of eBike riders felt they were safe, while 83 per cent of conventional cyclists felt they were safe.

What felt insecure?

It is a small percentage of riders of both types of bike who felt insecure. The 15 per cent of riders who felt insecure outlined their concerns this way:

Conventional bicycles top insecurities, stated by more than 10 per cent of respondents who felt insecure (i.e. 10 per cent of the 15 percent who felt insecure):

* Bike too heavy.
* Lack of control.
* Insufficient brakes.
* Difficult to handle in traffic.

eBike top insecurities, stated by more than 10 per cent of respondents who felt insecure (i.e. 10 per cent of the 15 percent who felt insecure):

* Bike too heavy.
* Difficult to handle in traffic.
* Lack of control.


Safety plus for eBikes:

There was one finding that the researchers had not anticipated: "Surprisingly, there was a greater sense of security with power-assisted bicycles than with conventional bicycles because participants had more power from standing starts and could react faster in traffic. In addition, participants were more likely to obey stop signs, since the electric motor made the bicycle easier to start again," the report declared.

The regulation concludes that eBikes should be integrated into the conventional bicycle world and not be considered another type of motorcycle.

"It is anticipated that the provinces and territories will add the federal definition for power-assisted bicycles to their standards governing conventional bicycles, thereby ensuring the integration of all types of bicycles and avoiding potential safety problems for cyclists and the general public," the federal legislation states.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if people would do some research and read the facts (like this article) before coming to kneejerk reactions like I read on other blogs. Thanks for some factual information, I will pass this on to everyone I know. PS. How do I join onteba?

Anonymous said...

I rode a pedal bicycle for about 30 years and a scooter style e-bike for about 2 years. It is my experience that I feel safer on my e-bike than I ever did on my bicycle. I have more road presence as a result of the colorful fairings, headlights and turn signals. I use mine for short trips to the store instead of my car. My cousin has been riding one in Vancouver for several years, where they are very popular. Ontario should embrace this option. Problem that I see is the cycling unions are filling there heads with false propaganda and they are listening.
Thanks for posting what I have experienced myself. I too will pass it on.