China / Society

Chang'an Avenue among 10 roads in Beijing to ban electric bikes

( Updated: 2016-04-05 13:55

Chang'an Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Beijing, is one of 10 roads in the city where electric bicycles will be banned starting from April 11, the Beijing News reported.

Beijing is the latest to join a number of cities cracking down on non-motorized vehicles, particularly electric-powered ones.

The 10 roads are Chang'an Avenue (from Jianguomen to Fuxingmen), Square East Road, Square West road, Fuyou Road, Zhengyi Road, Fuxingmen Outer Street (from Fuxingmen Bridge to Muxidi Bridge), Jianguomenwai Avenue (from Guomao Bridge to Jianguomen Bridge), Fuxing Road (from Muxidi Bridge to Xinxing Bridge), Puhuangyu Road (from Yuyan Bridge to Liujiayao Bridge), and Shijingshan Road (from Yuquanlu intersection to the north of Lugu East Street).

The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau said rule-breakers will be fined 20 yuan ($3) and that those who refuse to pay the fine will have their vehicles confiscated.

The regulation aims to improve road safety and traffic flow, according to the bureau. The 10 roads have been chosen for their heavy traffic and higher accident rates, it was added.

Beijing has a total of 4 million electric bicycles, among which 2.9 million fail to meet minimum standards and are not registered.

Although environmentally friendly and convenient to use, electric bicycles are frequently found to be disobeying traffic rules or have unapproved modifications that can threaten the safety of other road users.

A police officer said some electric bicycles travel at high speeds, carry more than one passenger, and frequently cause accidents during the morning and evening rush hours.

Beijing saw 31,404 traffic accidents involving eclectic bicycles in 2015, which killed 113 and left 21,423 injured, with the number of injured accounting for 36.7 percent of all traffic accidents.

Lu Jinlong, director of the assisted-vehicle committee of the China Bicycle Association, said the management of electric bicycles is in dire need of legal and national standard support, and that the electric bicycle industry should not be blamed for the illegal acts of some drivers.

Lu also said China has 200 million electric bicycle users but the regulation is still carried out according to a standard passed in 1999, which limits their speed to 20 kilometers per hour and their weight to 40 kilograms at most.

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