E-bicycles, e-scooters and other electronic recreational devices: Safety

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Battery-operated recreational devices such as e-scooters, e-bicycles and e-skateboards can cause serious injury due to the high speeds at which they travel. Learn more about using these devices safely and when to avoid them.

Key points

  • Children should not operate or ride e-devices. E-devices are designed to be used by adults, and the high speeds at which they travel place riders at risk of serious injury. 
  • Riders of e-devices should wear appropriate safety equipment such as helmets and should not ride near obstacles such as buildings, cars, and pedestrians. 
  • When using an e-device, it is important to review the manufacturers warnings and local regulations on minimum age requirements. 

Electric recreational devices such as e-scooters, e-bicycles and e-skateboards have been increasing in popularity in many cities; and, with this, there has been an increase in the number of injuries associated with their use.  

However, these devices are often not designed for use by children. Children lack the knowledge, development, and skills to safely operate these vehicles. Talking to children and youth about the risks of these devices, and the potential for injury, can help them to understand why they should not use them. Providing children with alternatives, such as non-motorized scooters and bicycles, is a safer form of active play, exercise and transportation.

Local regulations 

In Canada, e-device usage and regulations vary across the country. It is important to look up the regulations for your municipality to understand the requirements for the age of riders, applicable speed limits, and helmet regulations when using battery-powered recreational devices.

Some municipalities have also outlined that certain e-devices, such as e-scooters, are not allowed to be operated, left, stored, or parked on any public street within their cities, including bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or parks.  

Manufacturers’ warnings 

Always read and follow the manufacturers’ labels regarding height, weight, and age restrictions on e-device usage. These devices are often designed for adult use only and are, therefore, not tested for use by children. There may also be warnings on the dangers of carrying passengers when driving these devices. Carrying a passenger can make it harder to stay balanced on these devices, which may contribute to falls. 

Some devices will allow riders to set maximum speed limits as to not travel in excess speeds, which can help to prevent riders from losing control of their devices.  

Safety equipment and safe riding practices 

When operating an e-device, the following tips can help to prevent injury: 

  • Avoid traveling with a passenger, as this can cause a loss of balance resulting in a fall. 
  • Do not travel at excess speeds: the faster you travel, the greater potential for severe injury. 
  • Remain visible: wear brightly coloured clothing and use a light or reflector. Avoid travelling at night, as this can increase your risk of a collision with a vehicle, pedestrian, or obstacle. 
  • Discuss with children the importance of looking for e-devices when crossing the street, or walking in areas that people may be riding to prevent a collision with an e-device. 
  • Wear safety gear that is appropriate for the activity, including helmets that are designed for high-speed impact. 

Despite the availability of safety tips, it is not recommended for children to use e-devices. The high speeds and the potential for severe injuries make them unsafe for young riders. Children may lack the judgment and motor skills necessary to navigate busy streets or avoid hazards effectively.

Last updated: Tháng 6 18th 2024