Bike mix-up gives scooters the boot
By DAN MacDONALD
INCONSISTENT rules surrounding the use of electric bicycles on public roads has confused local motorists and angered the businesses selling them.
Sally Ryan, 56, was told by Grafton police last week that she was not allowed to ride her electric push bike without a licence and registration.
Ms Ryan was issued a warning and told that if she was caught again, she would receive a $1500 fine ? almost the same amount she paid for the machine.
"You can't register them and I don't know how to get a licence for them," she said. "I was led to believe it was classed as a push bike and that I didn't need a licence."
A spokeswoman for NSW police said the reason the bikes could not be registered was because they were illegal.
"They fail to meet Australian design regulations," she told The Daily Examiner.
Ms Ryan's bicycle has a 200W engine which she claims does not exceed 40km per hour.
And according to the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) those standards do not require the machine to be registered; riders need only wear a helmet and adhere to road rules.
Angry Grafton business owner, Byron Still, said he had sold several of the bikes and had more than 50 inquiries on them.
"I was under the impression that the RTA made the rules and the police enforced them," he said. "They are environmentally friendly and very popular in this period of high petrol pricing."
Member for Clarence Valley, Steve Cansdell said he was just as confused.
He vowed to raise the issue in State Parliament this week and said he would push for an urgent resolution.
"The law needs to be clarified," Mr Cansdell said.