Cabinet to soon approve new laws to address use of electric bikes
Even with an influx of electric bikes in Guyana in recent years and several fatal accidents involving these vehicles, its use has remained entirely unregulated.
Complaints are growing and the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Revenue Authority have been discussing its use on public roadways.
But in the clearest indication yet, Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, SC, on Tuesday said that amendments to the country’s traffic laws are being finalised to ensure regulations are in place and to legally empower state agencies.
The draft amendments will soon make its way to Cabinet for review and approval.
Once approved, the parliamentary process will have to be followed to ensure the law is amended and subsequently enforced.
Nandlall said the complaints from the general and travelling public have not fallen on deaf ears and the government is prepared to act.
“There are complaints wide and far that these electric cycles are being used in a manner dangerous to the public that they present a traffic hazard,” Nandlall said.
On a daily basis, persons including children are seen riding these cycles without helmets or other protective gear.
There have also been complaints about the reckless manner in which they traverse the roadway and Nandlall has said it is a clear “dangerous situation.”
Already, the government has amended the laws to address the issue of drunk driving with strict penalties for persons who engage in that type of behaviour.
Nandlall said the government is prepared to do the same as it relates to the use of electric bikes.
Last month, the GRA clarified that it is not registering or licensing electric bikes (E-bikes) in the absence of laws to govern its use.
In a statement, the GRA said that should these requirements be implemented in the future, they will inform the public.
With the amendments, it is expected that will have to get a valid driver’s license to operate the E-bikes.
In the past, there were a number of accidents involving electric bikes and, in some instances, lives were even lost.
In February, 17-year-old Bibi Sophia Mohammed of Non-Pariel Railway Embankment, East Coast Demerara died while her sister was injured after the electric bike they were riding collided with a truck.
Last year, there were seven such fatalities.