Huntington Beach could soon ticket, impound e-bikes

Is Huntington Beach over e-bikes? According to officials, the city could soon allow police officers to ticket people for misusing the bikes.

"The laws that we have on the books now are confusing and vague," said Huntington Beach police Lt. Thoby Archer "Having a municipal code that creates a comprehensive section that covers all types of these conveyances at once gives us the ability to just write a ticket or take some sort of enforcement action."

Common examples of bad behavior include riding against the flow of traffic, riding on sidewalks, doing wheelies or going faster than 25 miles per hour.

Archer said the Police Department has noticed they are often coming into contact with the same people riding their e-bikes in a dangerous manner.

Additionally, studies show that hospitals have seen an uptick in patients suffering from injuries directly related to riding e-bikes and motor-powered scooters.

If a police officer issues a juvenile a citation for violating the city’s expanded e-bike laws, the officer could impound the bicycle under the new laws. The impound fee would likely be around $50 to $150, according to a memo from Capt. Bo Svendsbo.

People issued a criminal citation would either be referred to a one-day bicycle safety class or court.

City officials will vote on the new proposal at their next meeting. If approved, the ordinance would go into effect immediately.