Halls Gap police monitor electronic bikes in town

HALLS Gap police officers were out in force at the weekend, patrolling shared bike paths in the town after residents raised safety concerns about electronic bikes.

It comes after an E-bike hit a girl, 7, on a path along Grampians Road earlier this month.

The girl sustained bruises and grazes from the incident.

Halls Gap sergeant Karen Bain said herself and Senior Constable Kelly Harris were out on their pushbikes on Saturday and Sunday in a bid to resolve issues with E-bikes in town. 

“The community really welcomed it and it was a good opportunity for us to get safety messages out there,” she said.

“It was important to see people behaving themselves while using electronic bikes.

“The patrol was also about enforcing and educating people about respectful riding on the shared roadways, especially when using E-bikes.”

Sergeant Bain said officers would continue patrolling the town on bikes for the next few months.

“We will continue pushing the message until the weather starts to turn nasty and the area isn’t as busy,” she said.

“During peak times, and especially on weekends, E-bike hire is very popular.

“Some people come to Halls Gap just for these bikes, so we know it is a major drawcard, but people need to know how to obey road rules.

“We expect the long weekend to be very busy as well, so we will continue to concentrate on getting the message out there.”

Sergeant Bain said police had also met with Northern Grampians council to discuss strategies to make the shared paths safer for all users. 

She said electronic bikes could reach speeds of 40 kilometres an hour, but users needed to limit speeds to 25 kilometres an hour. 

Halls Gap residents are also concerned about the bikes and a petition calling for them to be banned generated more than 200 signatures.

Halls Gap Ratepayers Association president Paul Turner said electronic bikes were dangerous and a disturbance to the community. 

”They are too fast,” he said.