A warning about e-bikes after traffic complaints to LaSalle police

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The LaSalle Police Service is sending out a warning to the public after responding to a number of complaints over e-bikes interfering with traffic.

Police want everyone to remember that before you buy or ride an e-bike, make sure that you know the laws and safety standards.

In several recent cases, police say those operating the e-bikes were under the minimum age of 16 years and were using the bikes in a way that was dangerous to themselves and to other motorists.

Constable Terry Seguin says they've received a cluster of complaints and, in some cases, they've had to speak to the same people more than once.

"The problem is that we're seeing these vehicles cut into the roadway and driving within lanes of traffic, or darting across lanes of traffic. We have had some close calls and a few minor collisions, luckily no significant injuries.," he says.

Seguin says most of the users were under the age of 16 and that's why they're sending out a message to parents and youth.

"Before parents go out and decide to purchase their kids that are under 16 years of age, they can't ride it. Anybody who rides an e-bike has to wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet," he says.

Seguin says e-bikes are not illegal but you have to know what the rules are before you set out onto the roadway.

"These are the rules and they're put in place for an obvious reason, that you have to a certain level of maturity to operate a vehicle that can travel at speeds of up to 30 km/h. You have to be able to have the maturity to operate that safely and within the parameters of the law," he  adds.

E-bikes are motorized bicycles that can look like conventional bicycles, scooters or limited-speed motorcycles.

You don't need a driver’s licence, vehicle permit or licence plate to ride an e-bike, but you do need to:
- be 16 or older
- wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet
- keep your e-bike in good working order
- You also need to follow the same rules of the road as regular cyclists.

You can ride your e-bike on most roads and highways where conventional bikes are permitted, with some exceptions.

You can't ride your e-bike:
- on certain provincial controlled access highways, such as the 400 series.
- on municipal roads, including sidewalks, where bicycles are banned under municipal by-laws
- on municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths, bike trails or bike lanes where e-bikes are prohibited.