Even though the introduction of the eco-friendly commercial bikes has been gaining popularity among the environment and economic conscious citizens in Alberta, riders could land on the wrong side of the law.
Technically Illegal Features
- The electric-assisted bikes which were introduced in Calgary as part of a pilot project are not equipped with standard safety features such as a brake light or a mirror.
- While the Traffic Safety Act in Alberta states that power-assisted bikes must have a headlight, taillight, reflectors, brakes, brake lights and a horn and a mirror, the lime bike lacks these features.
- It has a small tail light which is not visible within the recommended range of 150 meters, and riders often cross 51km/h on a 50km/h zone.
- It also has only 300 watts of power against the requisite 500 watts and runs at 24km/h whereas the ideal speed is 32km/h.
However lime bike riders have acquainted themselves with the use of safety helmets to compensate for the lacking features, and that is a positive impact.
The reason that lime bike riders get away with the practically illegal mode of transportation is lag in legislation which has been short in keeping up with the transitioning mobile world.
Calgary City implemented the Umber service to slow down the popularity of the Lime Bike until better resolutions were made in the field of safety, insurance and regulations.
A Hole in the Loop
Since bikes are not considered vehicles, distracted and impaired driving legislation do not apply on the bikes. Concerned citizens have voiced their apprehensions on the safety of such mode of transportation.
But until new legislation is set up specifically for two-wheelers, the lime bike will continue to be exempted or disregarded from the safety laws of Alberta Traffic. Many companies are also expected to launch services similar to the Lime bikes.