Ebikes Banned in Key Biscayne FLA After a Fatal Collision

Django

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A 12 year old boy on an e-bike collided with a woman on a bicycle. Sadly, the woman was killed. Two days later, there is a total ban there.

Please read the entire article before commenting. It sounds to me like they are throwing the baby with the bath water.

It’s tragic that someone died, but they should investigate it further and make some logical rules, like age and class appropriate rules.

 
Agreed. It is a 60-day temporary ban but it looks like most residents want a permanent ban. The council votes again in March. Very little detail is given about the actual circumstances of the accident, only saying that the police ruled the death accidental. One lonely resident opposing the ban stated the rider that died was not wearing a helmet. But, we don't know if she died of head injuries.
 
The article does not say what class the ebike that caused the accident was. I'm not an expert on how it works there in the U.S., so I don't know exactly if all 3 classes of ebikes can be ridden by anyone under the age of 12, without an insurance and/or a driving license. I will study the topic.

Also, the article mentions that the poor accident victim was not wearing a helmet. But it looks like a possible helmet wearing requirement is not in question... Nor a comprehensive study of the dangerousness of the phenomenon and the real causes of bicycle and ebike accidents.

I add that in my opinion legislative decisions requiring specific expertise such as safety should never be delegated to a small local community. First because they are easy prey to populism, local (political) interests and the moods of the moment - like in this case - and second because they would require the advice of competent people, which a small community cannot afford.

In Italy since the '70s we have gone from a very centralized - excessive - management to a gradual delegation to local authorities on sensitive issues, and the effect to me has not seemed always positive. It often becomes a (stupid) tyranny of the majority, a la de Tocqueville....
 
Tragic that someone died.....tragic that some parents are irresponsible. Every year......people in Key Biscayne die in car accidents.....gun shootings and alcohol related accidents......will they ban cars.....guns and alcohol as well? Why just pick on ebikes? Seems like a senseless emotional reaction to me.
 
At this time all we know is that an ebike and non-ebike collided and the person on the non-ebike died. We don’t know who was at fault or what type of ebike that was involved.
 
Well, they are obviously placing the blame on the eBike. (can't hold a 12 year-old responsible) From one news clip, it looked like an eMoped. The woman was a 66 year-old avid cyclist and (retired?) teacher.

Yes, it is a knee-jerk reaction. Is it more of a tragedy than when someone is killed in a car accident? ...yet we don't immediately ban cars. It is exactly like demanding tougher gun laws after a shooting, when the current laws aren't even enforced.

It is blaming the device rather than the operator and makes me :mad:.
 
I read the article again. The second sentence:
The fatality comes after elected leaders and Village staff struggled for the last two years to find a solution to the growing safety hazard on the island posed by micro-mobility devices operated by children.
They "struggled" for two years and did nothing! All they had to do was copy some other state's eBike law! Maybe spend a couple hours reviewing how other states handle it.

Further down in the article:
Vazquez and Council Member Brett Moss have said they favor a ban, while Sardiñas has called for regulation of the devices.
Bravo Sardinas for keeping a cool head when everyone else goes into knee-jerk tragedy mode. The others were afraid of getting canceled, so took the most extreme route.

The Village has tried in vain to get the e-bike and electric scooter safety hazard under control. It is a constant point of discussion among the Council who recount monthly their near-miss encounters with e-bikes and scooters on the streets of Key Biscayne.
...so the village elected officials are taking zero accountability. It's this huge problem for which there was no solution they could implement. Yet it only took two days to ban eBikes completely?!

Rasco and Williamson lobbied state lawmakers to pass a law regulating micro-mobility devices but Legislative leaders didn’t embrace the idea, in part because state law already allows municipalities some authority to legislate.
...and here, we see that Key Biscayne DID have authority to make their own law, but didn't.

Other things to note:
The 12-year-old was wearing a helmet, but the female was not. The boy sustained minor scratches and bruises, Colome said in a statement.
If the woman wore a helmet, it may have saved her life. She was an accomplished cyclist, but one's own skills (or lack thereof) are not the only reason to wear a helmet, as we can see here.

They don't say how she was killed; could've been something besides a knock to the head. (ex. broken neck?) But it's usually a knock to the head.

Since the woman didn't survive and the 12 year old's is the only firsthand testimony, I do wonder how they were so quick to blame the eBike/boy.
 
Other things I'm curious about:
  • Did the accident occur during daylight, darkness or something in between?
  • Were lights used?
  • What was the boy's account of what happened? Was it consistent with the evidence?
  • It's a tragedy for sure, but I notice they're not blaming the woman's decision not to wear a helmet. (they DID report the fact on it, though)
  • The article said the accident occurred in the middle of the road. Why were they both riding in the middle of the road in opposite directions?
A deeper dive into these things could help them craft reasonable bike and eBike laws.
 
A 12 year old boy on an e-bike collided with a woman on a bicycle. Sadly, the woman was killed. Two days later, there is a total ban there.

Please read the entire article before commenting. It sounds to me like they are throwing the baby with the bath water.

It’s tragic that someone died, but they should investigate it further and make some logical rules, like age and class appropriate rules.

Other things I'm curious about:
  • Did the accident occur during daylight, darkness or something in between?
  • Were lights used?
  • What was the boy's account of what happened? Was it consistent with the evidence?
  • It's a tragedy for sure, but I notice they're not blaming the woman's decision not to wear a helmet. (they DID report the fact on it, though)
  • The article said the accident occurred in the middle of the road. Why were they both riding in the middle of the road in opposite directions?
A deeper dive into these things could help them craft reasonable bike and eBike laws.
Question does the city have the legal right to do that? Seems rather extreme are they going to ban car and truck too.
 
Sounds like they're just looking for an excuse to ban eBikes. Why a ban if it was just an accident, and the eBike wasn't even at fault? Who's more likely to not have lightening fast reflexes, a young kid, or an old lady that probably shouldn't have been riding on the street in the first place? Why remove the one person from the meeting that was standing up against their draconian edict?
When I'm working I drive all over Dallas, and I see eBikes everywhere now days, but I see a lot more young kids, and generally speaking more eBikes in the most affluent parts of town, like the park city's, and Plano. It sounds like these Key Biscayne council members think they're special because it's so affluent there, but they're wrong. Check out the average house price in Highland Park, Texas, where one day while out riding my Stealth I met this young man riding his Super 73 near SMU like a boss. I had followed him distantly for about a mile, and he was riding very responsibly on his 30 mph eBike.

University park rider.jpg
 
It sounds like they are banning e-bikes because they don’t know the difference between a class legal ebike and a motorbike with superfluous pedals.

There are some 12 year olds that could drive cars well and responsibly, but that doesn’t mean that the driving age should be 12.
 
Let's try to frame the problem in a general statistic. The situation is indeed worrisome, and not only in the U.S. where regulations are less restrictive: https://fortune.com/2023/06/01/e-bike-injuries-trauma-experts-warn-numbers-health-carolyn-barber/
Data from other [than the US] countries are concerning, too: in the Netherlands, e-bikes were responsible for 27% of all fatal bicycle accidents in 2017; in Israel, electric-powered bikes and scooters accounted for 3,686 hospital admissions between 2014 and 2019; and a Dutch study found that e-bike riders were 1.6 times more likely to wind up in the emergency department than riders of regular bikes.

Those statistics will likely continue to balloon. E-bike sales are taking off, as people increasingly flock to the idea of a bicycle that can be pedaled, but with the motor doing the work when wanted or needed. E-bikes can take riders from 20 mph to nearly 30 mph. That top speed is faster than the average Tour de France rider–and the kind of velocity an average cyclist would never attain on their own.
This is obviously not talking about the victims caused by others, like in this case.

The next article is very old, but since it applies to those who, like me and many other forumists here, are not really kids, it should be considered: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...surge-electric-bike-deaths-police-netherlands
Last year 629 people died in road accidents in the Netherlands, according to Statistics Netherlands, of whom 189 were cyclists and 28 were on e-bikes. In the last three years at least 79 people were killed in road accidents when on an e-bike, of whom 87% were over the age of 60.
Obviously, in 2017 probably there weren't many ebikes around yet. The problem looks particularly serious for ebikers over 65.

(I am 65 so I'm free for a few more months to do whatever I want without risks :D ).
 
You know what gets me about this is how short-sighted we Americans can be.

Here, we have this wonderful new mode of transit that could be leveraged to solve so many of our problems. There are all these great upsides, but they can be dangerous if misused.

The thinking 50 years ago would have been: "Then lets take steps to not misuse them."
The thinking today is to ban them at the first sign of trouble.

A lot of people are commuting by car now who would commute by eBike if it became more mainstream, supported by good infrastructure. Already it means one doesn't have to arrive at work sweaty. Now, let's just make it realistic in terms of safety, right? WRONG.



Enough complaining about the problem though. Here's what I propose:

Let's find out this guy's postal address and send him letters. Even though we're not his constituents, it will not go unnoticed if he gets 100 letters. Let's keep them civil. Maybe they (his secretary) will even reply? Nah, that's too much to hope for.
 
Pursuant to my last post, here is the info, if you want to send a letter. It would be fifty cents well-spent.

Village of Key Biscayne
att: Mayor Joe I. Rasco
88 West McIntyre Street
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

{SOURCE LINK}
 
You know what gets me about this is how short-sighted we Americans can be.

Here, we have this wonderful new mode of transit that could be leveraged to solve so many of our problems. There are all these great upsides, but they can be dangerous if misused.
I was just reading that in Italy a new law if passed, will prohibit the transport of bicycles, ebikes and mopeds in train if not "disassembled" and "inside a bag".

Veeeery smart.... And thanks for understanding how valuable is the effort of people trying to just reduce carbon footprint, traffic congestion, urban noise, while keeping theirself in good health (aka less cost for public health national service).

Just imagine taking your (e)bike in a large bag, then leave the train and pedal with a huge, bulky and heavy bag kept somewhere with you. This will be the end of it if approved.
 
Pursuant to my last post, here is the info, if you want to send a letter. It would be fifty cents well-spent.

Village of Key Biscayne
att: Mayor Joe I. Rasco
88 West McIntyre Street
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

{SOURCE LINK}
I started this thread because this could happen anywhere, but it is a forum and of course open to anyone to voice their view.

I don’t feel that it is anyone’s business but theirs if they want to ban ebikes in certain areas. It seems that the privilege has been abused and it sounds like the ebike users are primarily kids on emopeds that would probably benefit from a human powered bike or even walking.

I would like to see laws that prohibit anything but a 250 watt class 1 being used by anyone without a driver’s license.
 
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