Are ebikes accidents the new shark attack?

Snoop

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The phenomenon is pretty well known in the media. Remember the 2001 “Summer of the Shark”?

A refresher from Wiki:

The Summer of the Shark refers to the coverage of shark attacks by American news media in the summer of 2001. The sensationalist coverage of shark attacks began in early July following the Fourth of July weekend shark attack on 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast, and continued almost unabated—despite no evidence for an actual increase in attacks—until the September 11 terrorist attacks shifted the media's attention away from beaches. The Summer of the Shark has since been remembered as an example of tabloid televisionperpetuating a story with no real merit beyond its ability to draw ratings


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The general idea is that the media will over-fixate on a certain negative topic because of its appeal to the readers and in the end, lead to an impression that the problem is much more common than it actually is.

It seems, at least to me, that ebikes are turning into the media‘s punching bag a bit, whether stories relate to accidents, angry pedestrians, battery fires, or what have you. Acoustic bikes will only make the headlines if they are the recipients of an accident instead of the perpetrators of such.

Recently there have been several very sad stories relating to child deaths from riding on ebikes or being involved in a house fire felt to be caused by a battery explosion. There seems to be a hysteria developing on Mackinac Island, Michigan, where ebikes are being banned in general and bashed by local law enforcement and fire personnel because of a recent accident.

Do ebikes really cause more accidents than acoustic bikes? I don’t know about you all, but I commonly get blown past by people racing on nonelectric bikes. Are the battery accidents more common than other faulty household appliances causing fires?

It seems like ebikes are getting increasingly stigmatized, which is sad considering all the advantages they offer, including:

  • Opportunity for nonathletic people to stay more physically active
  • Opportunity for folks with disabilities to be better able to bike
  • Increased quality of life
  • Environmentally friendly, with less carbon footprint from fuel emissions
  • Less noise pollution than from cars/trucks
  • Cheaper cost of transportation than using gasoline
Unfortunately, it’s the negative news which “sells,” and with the associated negative stigma, it’s not a good sign for future legislative improvements and easements regarding ebike community laws and code.
 
Yep, media can destroy an industry. Ebikes will fall victim to it. The ebike manufacturers need their own lobby team, ebike clubs, safety training, trail patrol, etc. If the population doesn't do it, the government will (CPSC) and more government intervention is never a good thing.

I think too many people want to make ebikes motorcycles. These things will get more and more laws on them every week and without the riding population putting together a program, it can and will severely hurt the industry. Not to mention the current law suites that'll likely wipe out half of the current manufacturers. Happened with automobiles, motorcycles, 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, UTVs. EUCs and ebikes are next on the regulatory chopping block, it's already happening.

I've spent nearly all my life dealing with these issues through national 4-H, the national off-highway conservation council, specialty vehicle institute of america, atv safety institute, motorcycle safety foundation, blue ribbon coalition, tread lightly, and state and local clubs and associations. Without the grass-roots efforts to battle the pr nightmare, ebikes will suffer more laws.
 
Money talks BS walks.

Advocacy (lobbyist) on Capitol Hill is what influence government policy & media coverage.

If you have ebike companies spending as much money on lobbyists as auto/gun/oil industry;
regulations and safety facts would be much different in the media.
 
Money talks BS walks.

Advocacy (lobbyist) on Capitol Hill is what influence government policy & media coverage.

If you have ebike companies spending as much money on lobbyists as auto/gun/oil industry;
regulations and safety facts would be much different in the media.
Nearly 25 years working in "Fedland" (DC). YUP! We always used to laugh at the protests and marches because they were great for "tourist" dollars coming into the city, but it was the people (lobbies and so forth) who stayed and kept pushing that actually made things happen. Protests were a pressure-relief valve and good media fodder and.... that was pretty much it.
 
The media is a joke......yet controls the narrative so often.....for the record.....I do not support sharks even riding ebikes....they have no thumbs and smell really bad if out of the water for more than 30 minutes. Just sayin!
 
Is there a national ebike-specific group to address this? Could the bicycle lobbies take it on otherwise?

We need more ebike clubs to help with grass-roots lobby and local ordinance guidelines too.
 
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