E-bikes have been inaccurately maligned as unsafe says a Vernon letter writer. (Contributed)

E-bike errors need correction

LETTER: Setting the record straight on E-bikes

I am annoyed at the fear mongering about E-bikes expressed by Nick Smith.

In a Trumpian letter style, Mr. Smith makes unsubstantiated claims that are far reaching and untrue.

E-bikes re not massive vehicles ridden by unruly masses of biker gangs trying to crash into the general public.

If Mr. Smith had done any actual research, he would know the Vernon market for E-bikes is the over 55 years of age crowd looking for the wonderful invention of pedal assist.

Mr. Smith talks of E-bike accidents as if they are common place, even a planned occurrence.

The aspect of these proposed accidents are that the riders are uninsured. There are more documented accidents by elder or handicapped on scooters far beyond any accidents with E-bikes.

Mr. Smith talks of E-bikes weighing 265 pounds.

I am very familiar with E-bikes and have not found any to be over 70 pounds. Where is this information coming from? What is Mr. Smith talking about?

Mr. Smith also talks of E-bikes being modified to travel over 60 km/h. It is stated as being common place to ‘modify’ the E-bikes to easily change this to be more dangerous.

Where is the factual basis for these statements. There is no research to support these statements.

There is also the verified fact that these modifications are actually hard to do, let alone illegal, and are not done by any bike shops in Vernon.

Mr. Smith makes unsubstantiated claims about drunk drivers, uninsured drivers, and the rise of accidents in Ontario without factual data or presentation of fact. I find this to be sensationalistic speaking out of ideas and publishing without factual basis. We do not live in Ontario. Perhaps Mr. Smith either lives there or wishes that he was.

In B.C., where we live, E-bikes have to be controlled to under 32 km/h; ride on the roads, not sidewalks; and be under the bicycles rules of the road.

I do not see any 55-plus riders under the influence of alcohol riding their E-bikes anywhere.

I do not see the population of people buying E-bikes in Vernon fitting this description of drinkers riding E-bikes anywhere in town.

The only revisiting of E-bike legislation needed is the facts, data and true stories of E-bikes and the actual population that is purchasing this product.

Mr. Smith is making big claims that are not backed up by factual data, supported by RCMP reports on E-bike incidents.

Mr. Smith is using Ontario statistics that do not stand up to verification, fear mongering over a product that is re-introducing biking to an age group that otherwise can’t participate in cycling.

E-biking is one of the biggest growing aspects of athleticism for the general population and the incorrect, fear-based assumptions made by Mr. Smith are untrue, creative and unsubstantiated.

There is freedom of speech and the press, and then there is the responsibility of publishing factual stories versus hearsay and embellishment without proof. It now reaches a topic of fake news.

Mr. Smith has been allowed to malign a quality product that is very controlled and regulated and maligns the riders involved with this product.

Perhaps Mr. Smith needs to revisit his facts and data.

T. Jones

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