Police, Interior Ministry Move to Curb Israel's Electric Bike Wild West

Interior Minister Giland Erdan, Israel Police to promote several recommendations for increasing oversight amid uptick in accidents.

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An electric bike being used in Tel Aviv.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

After a number of pedestrians were hit by electric bikes, Israel Police and the Interior Ministry are moving to curb what has become the wild west of Israeli transport. Currently, anyone can ride the bikes, with no need for a license or insurance.  

Israel Police back tightening regulations, and have conveyed their recommendations on the matter to the transportation authority. The recommendations include barring children under 16 from using the bikes, and demanding drivers get a license.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gilad Erdan announced that he means to back legislation that will lead to greater oversight and regulation over the use of electric bicycles, as figures point to an increase in accidents and casualties - some of them fatal - that involve them.

Among the recommendations that Erdan means to promote are, for the first time, vesting local authorities' inspectors with the power to demand identification documents from drivers, to detain offenders, to hand out fines, and to confiscate bicycles used against the law while endangering pedestrians. Another recommendation is enforcing a mandatory license and insurance.

Erdan, who formerly served as the chairman of the Knesset committee for fighting traffic accidents, has spearheaded related legislation in the past, including the immediate revocation of the driving license of any driver involved in a fatal accident. He has also pushed legislation on confiscating vehicles from drunk drivers and wearing reflective vests while standing on the side of inter-city roads.

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