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E-bikes-the focus for Bike Safety Month

May is national bike safety month. Local public safety and health agencies have come together to educate the public about eBike safety and other related issues.

In recognition of National Bike Safety Month, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Orange County Fire Authority, and Providence Mission Hospital are partnering to launch a public safety campaign focused on e-bike education, safety, and enforcement. Another partner in this effort is the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which is responsible for vehicle enforcement in Ladera Ranch. Several days this week, CHP officers spoke with children and their parents about bike safety as they crossed Daisy Street after school. 

“While in recent years we have dedicated resources to improving e-bike safety in our communities, we recognize the need for ongoing education and partnership to reach more families,” said Don Barnes, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner. “In the coming months, our community can expect to see more  information and enforcement, and we hope this will create safer riders on our streets.” 

In 2022, e-bike crashes were the leading cause of trauma injuries for children under 18 at Mission Hospital, with 105 patients admitted to the emergency room. Fourteen of those minors sustained severe or critical injuries. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, Mission Hospital has seen a staggering increase in the number of trauma-level injuries related to e-bikes,” shares Providence Mission Hospital Trauma Medical Director Dr. Tetsuya Takeuchi. “Sadly, many of these patients continue to struggle with headaches, extreme fatigue, and sleep disorders for months following the accident.” 

Last year, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department responded to over 80 collisions involving e-bikes. Deputies also impounded more than 30 motorized bicycles for riders who did not have the proper licensing and registration. 

“We hope to educate the public on the difference between e-bikes and motorized bicycles, which is a big issue we are seeing on the road,” Sheriff Barnes said. “Motorized bicycles look similar to e-bikes, but they go much faster and require a driver’s license, license plate, and registration to ride.” 

The Orange County Fire Authority also is seeing an uptick in calls for service related to e-bikes, which aligns with national trends.

“The emergence of e-bikes has created two ever-increasing issues in our communities – injuries and from accidents, and structure fires caused by the lithium-ion batteries that power the bikes,” said Brian Fennessy, Fire Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority. “Safety education is key to preventing and minimizing these incidents, and we are proud to join our partners at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Providence Mission Hospital in this important work.” 

The e-bike safety campaign will include multiple public service announcements targeting the most concerning behaviors first responders see on the roads, including distracted riding, reckless riding, and disregard for traffic laws. 

Ongoing messaging on social media and printed materials distributed to local schools will also support the campaign. Materials will focus on various safety messages, such as how to properly store and charge an e-bicycle to limit fire hazards and understand the different types of e-bikes and their unique safety considerations.

Specialized enforcement and bicycle safety-focused educational events throughout Orange County will round out these ongoing efforts to bolster e-bike safety. Follow @ocsheriff and @ocfireauthority to stay up to date on the latest e-bike safety information. 

eBike Safety Focus for National Bike Safety Month
eBike Safety Poster
eBike Safety-Lithium-Ion Batteries (OCFA)
eBike Safety-Know your eBike Type
eBike Safety on LaderaLife

Do you know who to contact?
Knowing who to contact for various situations can help get a quicker response and reduce your stress. Take a few minutes to save these resources to your phone contacts now.

LARMAC Property Vandalism & Graffiti
Security Patrol
(949) 351-9253

Traffic and e-Bike Issues

California Highway Patrol (CHP)
Non-emergency: (949) 487-4000
Emergency: 911

Crime or Suspicious Activity
Orange County Sheriff
Non-emergency: (949) 770-6011
Emergency: 911

Share the Road and Look Out for One Another
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department suggests the following safety tips for bicyclists and drivers:


  • Slow down and follow the speed limit. Be careful traveling through intersections.
  • Look carefully for bicyclists and pedestrians before making a turn or opening a car door near streets or bike paths.
  • Be patient when traveling behind a bicyclist and give them space when passing. California law requires drivers to change a lane, when possible, to pass bicyclists.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Bike Riders

  • Use lights at night.
  • Although not required for riders 18 and older, always wear a properly secured helmet. Helmets significantly reduce the chance of a head injury in the event of a crash.
  • Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.
  • Yield to pedestrians, just as a driver would. Pedestrians have the right-of-way within marked or unmarked crosswalks at intersections.
  • Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

eBike Safe Ride Guide 

Download the safety guide here