Dashcam video of some dangerous manoeuvres from a person riding an e-bike in Richmond has sparked renewed road safety concerns.
Richmond resident Martin van den Hemel caught the moment on his dashcam earlier this week, which showed the rider blowing through a red light before cutting across two lanes of traffic, right in front of oncoming vehicles.
Thought #RichmondBC driving couldn’t get worse?— Martin van den Hemel (@MartinvandenH) July 20, 2022
I present Exhibit A:
Unlicenced, uninsured, unregulated e-bike rider.
•fails to stop at red light
•fails to yield@Richmond_BC councillors: it’s time to raise issue with @RichmondRCMP & bylaws now, BEFORE a fatality #educate pic.twitter.com/HuFDZFAwe9
Luckily, Van den Hemel anticipated the bizarre and reckless behaviour of the rider and slowed down as he drove through the intersection at No. 4 and Francis roads.
Hemel, who shared his video on Twitter, said the situation could have been much worse if he, as a driver, had been less patient.
He said he was going slow at the time, but could have easily accelerated to normal speed.
“…if I had, that would have been dangerous for that cyclist," said Van den Hemel.
The rising costs of gasoline and the growing concerns about climate change are prompting more users to consider ditching their current cars for electric bikes and scooters.
But Van den Hemel feels that the City of Richmond needs to provide more education for such riders when they share the road with vehicles.
"The roads in Richmond are already very busy and with more e-scooters and bikes out there, there will be more opportunities for conflicts,” he added.
E-scooters, Van den Hemel pointed out, have been allowed in the city for about a year, noting that, in May, Lime - a transportation company based in San Francisco that runs e-bikes and e-scooters - installed docks around the city centre to allow residents to rent both e-bikes and e-scooters.
As it happens, Lime, according to the City of Richmond, is launching a First Ride safety event on Saturday, July 23 at noon in Minoru Park. It's a drop-in session and no registration is required.
City spokesperson Clay Adams added that more sessions are expected to be held in August and September.
Meanwhile, he noted that the city has been partnering with HUB Cycling, a non-profit that aims to remove barriers to cycling, to deliver cycling education courses for the community and elementary school students.
"Examples include the Bike to School Education for Students program, a cycling education course for all Grade 6 and 7 public school students in Richmond as well as supporting the region-wide Go by Bike Week in May and September, which includes the provision of Knowledge Hubs in Richmond," said Adams.
According to Adams, more regulations and rules about e-bikes and e-scooters will be posted on social media channels.
The Richmond News reported earlier this month that the RCMP hadn't ticketed anyone for improper e-scooter use since their launch for rent in Richmond - but a few e-scooters riders have ended up in the hospital.
For more information about e-scooters or e-bikes, visit bikehub.ca/about-us/news/limes-first-ride-academy-0.