LeftieBiker wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:19 pm
GRA wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:51 pm
ISTM that he raises a valid point - what is the practical difference between an e-bike with a throttle and a moped? I don't see that classifying such a vehicle as a moped would affect you significantly; you've already got a driver's license and can certainly afford a license plate, so beyond the minor extra cost, what difference would it make to you?
There are no mopeds that I know of that have a top speed of 20mph or less. Even a 50cc class moped will go 30+ MPH. If it is true that he's using a boy who got hit by a truck and died because of no helmet as an excuse, then I have to ask: what makes an e-bike more likely to get hit by a truck than a strictly human-powered bicycle. If he wants a helmet requirement because he doesn't understand physics, fine. Requiring pedelec (PAS) only bikes is going to hurt mainly handicapped people. You shouldn't have to get a driver's license to ride a 20MPH bicycle. Next he'll be requiring a helmet and driver's license for 12MPH wheelchairs...
Fair points, although I think he's thinking more of faster e-bikes. Some of the throttle jobs I see around here look more like slightly lightened dirt bikes than bicycles and as you know are a hell of a lot faster than 20 mph, and I can't imagine anyone actually pedaling one as they look like they weigh a ton. Then there are the stand-up scooters I see that are doing at least 25 and maybe 30 mph on the street (often ridden with no helmet; talk about a likely future organ donor).
I dislike all nanny laws such as mandatory helmet use (for adults; kids are a different matter), but ISTM defining pedelecs as e-bikes with max. speed limited to 20 mph, and anything over that is a moped would be a reasonable reg. The human body has evolved to survive impacts up to 20-30 mph or so (human running speed- Usain Bolt averaged 23.35 mph when he set the 100m record, maxing at 27.28 mph), with the likelihood of serious injury/death increasing exponentially above that, which is why many parts of Europe have adopted 30 km (18.6 mph) speed limits for areas with lots of pedestrians/kids; in the UK there's a "20's Plenty for Us" organization which advocates for that MPH speed limit in residential areas, with lots of success: http://www.20splenty.org/
It is desirable to attempt to reduce the speed of road vehicles in some circumstances because the kinetic energy involved in a motor vehicle collision is proportional to the square of the speed at impact. The probability of a fatality is, for typical collision speeds, empirically correlated to the fourth power of the speed difference (depending on the type of collision, not necessarily the same as travel speed) at impact, rising much faster than kinetic energy
. . . .
Vision Zero, which envision reducing road fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2020, suggests the following "possible long term maximum travel speeds related to the infrastructure, given best practice in vehicle design and 100% restraint use":
Possible maximum travel speeds
- Type of infrastructure and traffic Possible travel speed (km/h)
Locations with possible conflicts between pedestrians and cars 30 km/h (19 mph)
Intersections with possible side impacts between cars 50 km/h (31 mph)
Roads with possible frontal impacts between cars, including rural roads 70 km/h (43 mph)
Roads with no possibility of a side impact or frontal impact (only impact with the infrastructure) 100 km/h (62 mph)+
Also see the graphs on pages 12-13 of:
https://nacto.org/docs/usdg/relationshi ... chards.pdf
Relationship between Speed and
Risk of Fatal Injury: Pedestrians
and Car Occupants