Lack of insurance for injuries while on e-bikes leaves riders uncovered

Updated 2017-04-13 14:00:54 CGTN

The popularity of bike sharing around China has become obvious to all. The service function as welcome addition to make "your last-kilometer commute" easier, and transforms people's walk between bus stops or subway stations much smoother.

However, it was discovered that some use the biks in way not intended by the company, such as two people using one bike at the same time, which can be very dangerous, according to the Beijing Morning Post. The danger is exacerbated with the knowledge that riders are not covered if riders are injured while using the bikes wrong.

Since last year, some bike sharing companies have begun to equip their bikes with baskets, aiming to make themselves stand out from their competitors and to meet the demands of people who are used to taking a bag when they are out and about.

Most of the baskets measure 40 centimeters long and 20 centimeters in width and depth. However, these baskets are limited to hold object under 10 kilograms, but some people have been found using the baskets to carry their companions, and even their children. This carries a risk of having the legs of the person in the basket getting drawn into the wheel.

Most bike sharing companies have noticed their bikes being used the wrong way and have issued a proposal for safe riding. When users turn on a bike sharing app, reminders for safe riding and right parking automatically pop up.

China has also taken a national stance against people using bikes incorrectly, including both personal and sharing ones. According to laws on road safety, riders are allowed to only carry a passenger under the age of 12 years old on an extra fixed seat that is firmly fixed on the bike. This does not include baskets. Anyone who violates the law will be pulled over and be fined 20 yuan (approximately 2.9 U.S. Dollars).

A bike sharing operator told the Beijing Morning Post that though users are insured, the insurance does not cover accidents that occur under the illegal operation of the bike, while some other operators said any user can report bikes not being used correctly on the apps if they see people violating the rules.

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