Assembly Bill 530 in California could see the introduction of a driver’s license specifically for e-bikes.

The motivation behind the bill is to address the issue of young e-bike riders being unaware of traffic laws and safety regulations. San Diego County Assemblymember Tasha Boerner is sponsoring the bill.

While e-bikes were initially popular among older riders, they have now gained widespread appeal among individuals of all ages. E-bikes are smaller in size and lower in cost than cars. Also, e-bikes lead to a more enjoyable riding experience in the eyes of many.

Assembly Bill 530 proposes that riders without a driver’s license should be required to take an online written test and obtain an e-bike driver’s license. Additionally, the bill seeks to prohibit riders under the age of 12 from operating e-bikes.

The proposed legislation also aims to establish an e-bike training program in collaboration with organizations like the DMV and California Highway Patrol. This program would serve to educate riders who haven’t undergone a traditional driver’s education course about the rules of the road.

Boerner told reporters that creating a specific driver’s license for e-bike riders is primarily a safety measure. She wants to reduce injuries and educate both youth and parents about the responsibilities associated with using e-bikes on public roads.

Why California’s Proposed Law is Sensible

Some people argue that introducing a driver’s license for e-bike riders might upset enthusiasts who appreciate the freedom and lack of regulation associated with these bikes. However, safety must always come first.

If individuals intend to ride on public roads, it’s essential that they receive some form of training about traffic rules. Without such training, riders may be unaware of fundamental concepts such as right of way, roundabouts, blind spots, following distance, and other crucial aspects of safe riding.

In Israel, a system already exists where teenagers who are too young for a regular driver’s license have the option to take a short e-bike course to learn road rules. The course is available to those 16 and older, and those who pass it receive an e-bike license. Israel’s e-bike road test is a minimal inconvenience to bikers, as it consists of only 30 questions and costs less than 20 USD.

It’s high time for California to follow Israel’s example.