Juveniles Riding E-Bikes Are Not Observing Traffic Laws

(Editor’s note: photos and videos have been sent to CTN anonymously. CTN does not identify the kids by name in the photo, CTN does not allege wrongdoing on the part of anyone in a photo, that were taken on public streets. CTN is asking parents to realize the kids pictured may be in the wrong company and to address the behavior: fireworks, beating younger kids, stealing and reckless driving.)

A reader sent CTN a video of kids racing e-bikes in the Village Green, “they’re ruining the Village Green grass,” she said.

If your youth has a motorbike, such as pictured in the video, please make a donation to Village Green, which is not a city park. It is private and runs on donations. click here.

Several residents have written to this editor asking about kids on e-bikes, saying kids flaunt the law. One person told CTN that last Friday, March 8, in the evening, the kids were going down the middle yellow line on Sunset, veering into both lanes. The resident said, “if someone in oncoming traffic doesn’t see them, changes lanes and hits the kid and he’s injured, the parents will probably sue.”

Another reader said that youth regularly race through the Recreation Center, the parking lots, around the playgrounds and on the grounds on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Yet, another reader wrote about the kids riding down the middle of Sunset on Friday, February 16 at noon.  “They were racing bikes and popping wheelies through traffic on Sunset. We watched as they turned left on a red light in front of traffic, rode onto the sidewalk and then turned their e-bikes into Chipotle.”

These kids turned left on a red light by Chipolte after popping wheelies.

The reader sent a query and videos to Palisades Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin.

Espin responded that “Unfortunately, we are not able to cite individuals for traffic violations unless it’s witnessed by a law enforcement at the time. The videos do help me in trying to identify the individuals and documenting the activity that has been going on. If any of these kids do violate any traffic laws or any crime where Officers are able to do enforcement, we will do the appropriate investigation for the activity.”

He pointed out that bikes (Super73), which is a class 2 or 3 electric bike are just like a regular pedal bike and are legal. Class 2 e-bikes have a top speed of 20 p.m. Type 3 can reach a speed of 28 mph.

Other bikes have been identified by residents as The Sur-Ron Light Bee X ($4,400 ), and are sold as an “off-road-only bike.” These bikes, when shipped have a top speed of 16 miles an hour to keep them “road legal,” but a YouTube videos shows it is easy to hack the electronics in order to reach a speed of 45-50 mph.

California laws specify that the minimum age for using a Type 3 e-bike is 16 years old. If someone is underaged, and riding that kind of bike, it is a crime. Bike Users must wear a helmet. Type 1 and Type 2 e-bikes don’t have a minimum age restriction.

Motorized bicycles, (aka mopeds) although similar to e-bikes, are considered in the same category as motorcycles under California law. Thus, everyone who uses a moped must have either a M1 or M2 motorcycle license to operate their vehicle. Moped riders must be at least 16 years old, wear a helmet at all times, and order a one-time license plate & ID card from DMV.

A new Bill (AB 530) was introduced in the California State Assembly in February. If passed, it would prohibit a person under 12 years of age from operating an electric bicycle of any class. The bill would require a person who rides an e-bike to be licensed, pass a written test and have a state-issued photo identification.

The reason for passing a stricter law, according to The San Francisco Standard, is 2022 saw the most fatalities and serious injuries for cyclists in five years, including several high-profile deaths of teens riding e-bikes.

Espin said e-bikes “have to obey all the traffic laws as a regular bicyclist would. If we observe the kids riding in a reckless manner, Officers do have the discretion to conduct enforcement.”


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2 Responses to Juveniles Riding E-Bikes Are Not Observing Traffic Laws

  1. Anonymous says:

    One’s first reaction is feeling angry and ill. Are these males (I assume they are male) residents of the Palisades. Are they part of the same gang of males terrorizing CVS and other parts of the Palisades. Are these bikes required to have a license and can be traced? We have 3 security companies in the Palisades… Do they never drive through the Village and show a presence? Are there cameras near the Village Green showing any more information and maybe faces of the bikers.
    It breaks my heart to see the work of decades by dedicated people and community donations making a tiny oasis for all of to enjoy terrorized and ruined by thugs.

  2. Andrew says:

    To anyone wondering, our store in the Palisades (Kruse) does not sell these bikes and we do not encourage customers to buy these bikes for anyone under the age of 16. We also do not service these bikes for insurance and liability reasons. I’ve spoken to a few kids with these types of bikes, mainly for when they contact me for repairs, and everyone that I spoke to said they’ve unlocked the bikes for higher speeds (>20 mph). This includes the Super73 models, and it makes it illegal for street use.

    I understand they are popular and parents can make decisions for themselves what they think is safe and appropriate. I encourage parents to try riding their kids’ bike and make sure they comfortable going that fast. Be sure that the bike has hydraulic brakes, not cable brakes. Cable brakes will lose effectiveness extremely fast (<6 months).

    If your child has a friend with one, you should ask if they ever ride on the back, then try it yourself if they do. Riding with a passenger, particularly one of equal weight, is significantly more challenging. Finally, if your child does ride an e-bike, I would recommend a full-head helmet such as one designed for motorbikes. A standard bicycle helmet will not protect well at speeds over 20 mph.

    If anyone has questions, feel free to call our store any time.

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