We’re warning that the riders of expensive electric motorbikes could have their machines seized and be prosecuted if they don’t have a driving licence and insurance.
Officers in Southmead, Bristol, have this week seized an electric motorbike which was being ridden without insurance. It will now be destroyed.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Richard Jones explained: “An electrically-assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) needs to be able to be propelled only by the pedals. The motor should have a maximum power output of 250 watts and the motor shouldn’t be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling at more than 15.5mph.
“If it doesn’t fit those criteria it’s classed as a motorcycle or moped and needs to be taxed, insured and registered, with a number plate. Riders of this sort of vehicle need a driving licence and must wear a crash helmet.”
Anyone riding this sort of e-bike without insurance could face a minimum penalty of £300 and six penalty points, with courts able to issue unlimited fines and disqualify riders.
PS Jones said the seized vehicle had been modified to look like an EAPC but was capable of speeds which classed it as a motor vehicle.
On Monday evening, 21 November, patrolling officers spotted it being ridden around Southmead at speed. The rider abandoned it in Lydney Road and made off on foot.
PS Jones said the community had raised concerns about riders without helmets on speeding e-motorbikes, adding: “There are real risks of serious injury to pedestrians and the riders themselves due to the speeds they can reach. Some of these vehicles are capable of up to 50mph and being electric don’t make as much noise as a standard motorbike or car, so people may not hear them coming.”