In honor of National Bike Safety Month, the City of Manhattan Beach is inviting everyone to participate in e-bike safety through “Ride Safe, Ride Ready,” a new initiative meant to educate the community on e-bike safety, accident prevention, and overall e-bike preparedness.
The City of Manhattan Beach, the Manhattan Beach Police Department (MBPD), the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, and two Mira Costa High School students collaborated to create “Ride Safe, Ride Ready.” The “Ride Safe, Ride Ready” campaign will be a long-term program with three main tenets: education, involvement, and enforcement.
Ride Safe, Ride Ready with E-Bike Safety and Awareness Campaign
“E-bike safety and accident prevention have become a major concern in Manhattan Beach and other surrounding cities. Every day we receive complaints about e-bikers riding at excessive speeds, not wearing helmets, or just demonstrating a lack of safety precaution,” said Councilmember Joe Franklin. “With summer just around the corner, there’s going to be a significant influx of people, especially teenagers, riding their e-bikes around town. We knew it was critical to create a program like “Ride Safe, Ride Ready” that will educate and inform the public on e-bike safety and constantly reinforce those guidelines that were established to help keep everyone safe. This is a community challenge, and it required a community solution.”
“During the pandemic, many cities saw e-bike sales soar. Manhattan Beach alone saw an increase of over 900% in e-bike sales in 2020. MBPD is concerned that there may be a dramatic rise in e-bike accidents and injuries,” added Acting Captain Andrew Harrod, the Manhattan Beach Police Department. “Most e-bikers have minimal knowledge of the laws associated with electric-powered mobility devices like e-bikes, and while we’ve strengthened enforcement, at the same time, we also need to step up education.”
Residents will begin to see and hear e-bike safety messaging everywhere starting today. To educate the community on e-bike safety the city is collaborating with local businesses and bike stores, as well as district schools. E-bike handlebar hangtags will be placed on e-bikes around town, highlighting basic e-bike regulations of the road, recommendations on how to be “Ride Ready,” and road hazards.
Local businesses, civic organizations, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business and Professional Association, the North Manhattan Beach Business Improvement District, and others have jumped on board to promote e-bike safety and are promoting “Ride Safe, Ride Ready” on social media.
Alex Chun and Justin Newman, both of Mira Costa High School, addressed at a City Council meeting earlier this year, expressing interest in leading an e-bike safety campaign. The two are using social media to spread the message. They made a hilarious PSA film, the first in a series of e-bike safety videos that can be found on TikTok and the Instagram account “Ride Safe, Ride Ready.” They are currently contacting local summer programs and camps to set up safety briefings for children.
Simultaneously, after Manhattan Beach student Lara Meyer was severely injured in an e-bike accident in 2021, local students Kai and Luca O’Neill and Sydney Martin started working on an e-bike safety campaign to teach middle school-aged youngsters about biking and the rules of the road. To raise awareness about e-bike safety, the group collaborated with Manhattan Beach Middle School Principal Rose Ahrens and the Manhattan Beach Police Department to create a PSA video and a bike safety quiz contest for Manhattan Beach Middle School students. The rules for the competition will be issued to middle school students in the PTA newsletter next week.
“I’m thrilled to see our community embrace the use of e-bikes and also responsibly address the challenges associated with their growing popularity and use,” said Mayor Hildy Stern. “It’s important to educate our youth and broader community on the importance of practicing e-bike safety habits to reduce risks while still enjoying the benefits of riding e-bikes.”
The popularity of electric bicycles shows no signs of waning. By being “Ride Safe, Ride Ready,” we can all help make the world a safer place. On Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., join Councilmembers, MBPD, Alex Chun, and Justin Newman at the base of the Manhattan Beach Pier to learn how to help make Manhattan Beach a safe and pleasurable location to ride e-bikes. Please visit Safety Tips for Bicyclists.