Park City police trying to handle e-bike issues as complaints, injuries ramp up

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PARK CITY — After an e-bike incident nearly turned deadly and multiple other problems arose, Park City police want to make sure more people understand e-bike rules.

"Some of these bikes can be a lot quicker than the average bike is," said Lt. Jay Randall, with the Park City Police Department.

Visitors who come to Park City are opting for e-bikes to get around the mountains and trails.

"What we're noticing is, is poor trail etiquette where people are letting you know they's coming up on you at a high rate of speed," Randall said.

E-bikes are not allowed on single track trails in Park City. However, police and trial division rangers are spending a lot of time breaking up conflicts there — and worse, they're responding to serious accidents.

"And we're concerned that as they continue to ride these things that go faster and faster, and they're heavier," Randall said, "the likelihood of serious bodily injury or death is becoming a reality."

E-motorcycles most concerning

Randall said that it's e-motorcycles that worry them the most.

"Some of these electric motorcycles can go over 50 miles an hour," he said. "If you're doing that on a 4-foot-wide trail, it doesn't give people an opportunity to respond."

Additionally, Randall said many of these e-motorcycles don't have pedals attached to a crank.

While they are not considered a bicycle, Randall said many e-bikes are unregistered.

"They're like an off-highway vehicle," he said. "They have to have the turn signals, lights, the speedometer — everything — and insurance in order to be operated on any street, public street."

Even more concerning is the age of the riders, according to Randall.

"That's the problem we're running into as we have young kids, 12 to 15 years of age, that are riding these up and down the streets, thinking it's OK," he said.

Randall said they are oftentimes zooming down the streets at around 40 miles per hour without helmets. Police hope to get a handle on it before someone gets hurt.

"We're concerned about serious injuries, and that's why we have to address it now," Randall said.

Police are asking parents to look into the e-bikes before letting their children ride them.

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