Here at meas.ie we recently done an article on electric scooters as they appear to be everywhere all of a sudden but not much mention has been made of the electric bike. Electric bikes are extremely popular here in Ireland and according to the bike to work grant numbers over half of the bike to work grants have been given out for electric bikes as opposed to just normal pedal bikes.
So what is an electric bike? Well it looks the same as a normal push bike only it has a small electric motor on it. The motor assists you in your driving and helps you go a further distance, helps you get up hills and generally just makes cycling around much easier. These electric bikes aren’t cheap and usually start at around the €700 range however there is an option to get an electric bike conversion kit so you can make your normal bike into one of these electric bikes. There are many websites dealing how to do this such as www.ebikeobsessed.co.uk and the electric bike conversion kits appear to be much more affordable than purchasing a whole new electric bike. All that is needed is a bit of DIY knowledge which can also be found online.
So now that we know what an electric bike is we must state just how serious an offense it is to be caught in control of one of these bikes while under the influence. Cases of cyclists being arrested for drink driving has almost doubled since the new laws were introduced in 2013. Cases like this one are quite serious and not a joking matter. It is important that cyclists realise this and know that since the law change this is as bad as getting caught behind the wheel of your car.
In that case the man was let off with a €250 fine but if there was an incident and you were found over the limit whilst on your electric bike then the penalties can be much more severe including serving jail time for the offense. Not only are you at risk of endangering yourself whilst under the influence but you can cause people in cars to swerve and put other people in danger by night being fully in control of your actions on the electric bike. We felt this deserves its own post as with all the electric scooter talk electric bikes seem to have slipped under the radar of the press but not the guards!