Zebra crossing death raises questions about e-bikes

Chen Huizhi
E-bikers not slowing down or giving way to pedestrians before zebra crossings is not punishable at the moment, police said.
Chen Huizhi
Zebra crossing death raises questions about e-bikes
Shanghai traffic police

An elderly woman was killed by an e-bike delivery rider while on a zebra crossing, police said on Thursday.

The accident took place on Qinzhou Road N. near Guilin Road in Xuhui District at 11:25am on July 19.

The deliveryman surnamed Fu was illegally riding his e-bike in a motor lane at the time of the accident.

Fu said he was in a hurry to deliver food and didn't notice the lady, police said.

Police said the e-bike's speed has yet to be determined.

Fu has been assigned full responsibility in this case, police said.

It is not uncommon for e-bikers to race in the streets ignoring pedestrians coming from other directions on zebra crossings, and this has long been drawing complaints.

But there are no laws requiring them to slow down.

"We won't be able to punish it till we're authorized by the law to do so," a traffic police official from the Pudong New Area said.

He added that Shanghai traffic police are leading the effort to revise the city's regulation for non-motor vehicles.

"For now, we're trying to cooperate with the delivery businesses to make the deliverymen slow down and use technology such as RFID chips," he said.

Further complicating the issue is that there are no speed cameras for bikes and e-bikes.

The new national standards for e-bikes which came into force on April 15 this year do cap the top speed of e-bikes at 25 kilometers per hour. And when a rider goes over 15 kilometers per hour an alarm sounds.

However there are still many old models and some of them can go as fast as 40 kilometers per hour.

For the time being, pedestrians can only be more careful when crossing the street.


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