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Orange County looks to regulate popular electric bikes

Orange County introduces new regulations for electric bikes
Orange County introduces new regulations for electric bikes 02:30

Orange County is looking for a way to regulate electric bikes after their popularity has raised some safety concerns. 

"I'm very safe on a bike," rider Charlotte Durand said. "I follow the rules of a driver ... I always stop at the stop signs."

However, while Durand may take her e-bike safety seriously, some do the exact opposite, according to Orange County Traffic Committee member Todd Stearns.

"Large groups of youths 15-20," Stearns said. "I saw one a few months ago that was about 50 kids on e-bikes, and they'll surround a vehicle, and they won't let the vehicle go around. They slow down. They gesture rudely to the vehicle."

RELATED: Orange County mother makes it her mission to preach electric bike safety

Stearns collaborated with the California Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff's Department and Orange County Parks and Public Works to come up with new e-bike regulations for the unincorporated areas, including south Orange County. 

E-bikes have been divided into three categories. Class 1 e-bikes can go up to 20 mph and are legal for people 16 years old and younger. Class 3 e-bikes go up to 28 mph and are illegal for riders under 16 years old. 

In addition to the new classifications, riders must always wear helmets. Multiple people on a single bike is prohibited unless it is specifically designed to carry a passenger. 

Riders cannot ride more than two abreast on roads, bike lanes and sidewalks. 

The regulations become official in two weeks once the Board of Supervisors approves the second reading of the ordinance. Stearns hopes that e-bike licenses, education and minimum age requirements will come in the future. 

Last month, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach formed a task force to crack down on troublesome e-bike riders. 

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