Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Green, cheap and dangerous

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Electric bicycles are China's answer to the Prius because they're green, zippy and cheap. They're also emerging as a safety hazard.

About 200 million Chinese now use e-bikes, a 1,000-fold increase from 15 years ago. China's traffic police treat them like bicycles and riders zip alongside cars and trucks at speeds up to 40 km/h -- without ever passing road tests. A study at Peking University from October 2010 to April 2011 found e-bikes were involved in 57 per cent of serious non-fatal road accidents. Traumatic brain injuries were sustained by 36 per cent of riders.

-- Washington Post-Bloomberg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2014 D5

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