E-Bikes Race Over the Speed Limit of School Safety


Tyler Kim

A careless student riding his e-bike streaks past the speed limit. The uncontrollable speed causes him to fall hard on the ground, unmoving.

Junior Ethan Chan was riding his bike to school when he heard the dreaded, whirring buzz of an electric bike behind him. The rider swerved around him, startling him so much that he was knocked off his bike. 

A searing pain shot up his spine from the impact of the concrete. While he was splayed out helplessly on the sidewalk, the irresponsible culprit sped away, not even bothering to ask if he was hurt, according to Chan.

After experiencing this incident, Chan ended up in the nurse’s office and faced severe back pain for several days.

Similar accidents are a regular occurrence when students on e-bikes travel at incredibly fast speeds while zooming to school without care for pedestrians or other bikers, according to Chan.

“I went from really wanting an e-bike as well to realizing how dangerous and unsafe they are, especially for other people and their surroundings,” Chan said. “With so many young high schoolers – not even high schoolers, kids – using them, there could be a huge chance of an accident happening.”

Therefore, strictly enforcing campus regulations on e-bikes through the promotion of videos on e-bike safety will keep our streets and students protected. The dangerous consequences of e-bike speed are concerns not just for the safety of pedestrians but also for the riders themselves. Studies found that e-bike riders have a higher risk of hospitalization than traditional bike riders, according to Reuters News.

Regulation is crucial for the sake of campus safety, especially with the number of e-bikes doubling this year, according to campus control assistant George Mares.

“Everyone has e-bikes now,” Mares said. “Now, it’s not everyone just pedaling; it’s everyone going really fast everywhere, so it can be really dangerous on campus.”

Fortunately, Principal John Pehrson implemented a rule a month ago to prevent accidents: all bike riders are now required to walk their bikes on campus for the courtesy of other bikers and pedestrians, who are susceptible to collisions.

The rule implements e-bike regulations on campus to a degree, but more needs to be done to ensure student safety. As students ride e-bikes in and around campus, going too fast can make the vehicles difficult to stop, according to Mares.

Some argue that the incredible speeds of e-bikes allow students to arrive at school on time. For example, four-year e-bike user and freshman Anthony Vorias noted that e-bikes allow him to travel to places a lot quicker without getting tired. 

Yet, the hazards to student safety outweigh the efficiency of e-bikes. Vorias has also been involved in several accidents, agreeing that e-bikes are very dangerous.

“I’ve gone flying a few times because people cut in front of you, and they’re not paying attention,” Vorias said.

With the number of e-bikes growing at an unprecedented rate, the Portola News Network should consider a campaign on e-bike caution involving videos warning students about the dangers of speeding and prioritizing safety while riding bikes to and from school. When e-bike riders are mindful and attentive while traveling, they can avoid the risk of injury to themselves and pedestrians. 

The Hermosa Beach City School District saw success with this strategy after publishing a video titled “Be Safe, Be Smart – Tragedy of the E-Bike” on a fictional scenario of a fatal bike accident.

The number one priority of education is always safety, playing a crucial role in youth’s development and academic success. Students should not have to fear for their safety in the face of e-bikes.