Halls Gap police officers will soon be on pushbike patrol to monitor the usage of Halls Gap’s controversial E-bikes.
It comes after a seven-year-old cyclist was hit by an oncoming E-bike on the shared bike path along Grampians Road two weeks ago.
The girl sustained bruizes and grazes from the incident.
But Halls Gap Sergeant Kelly Bain said police had met with Northern Grampians Shire Council to discuss strategies to make the shared bike path track safe for all users.
“It is still early days, but we’ve had the first meeting which is great and we are all on the same page,” she said.
“We want a resolution – half the community want the E-bikes gone, but some are in favour.
“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.”
Sergeant Bain said herself and colleague Senior Constable Kelly Harris would assume pushbike patrol to help deter E-bike users from riding irresponsibly.
“We have issued a few infringements to people riding the E-bikes without helmets and had some phone calls complaining some users have been riding erratically,” she said.
“We are both pushbike qualified, so this move should make people realise they still need to obey road rules when using the E-bikes.
“It will also be good for the community to see us out there monitoring the situation and ensuring people are safe.”
Sergeant Bain also said police would govern speeds of the E-bikes after receiving complaints from the community E-bikes travelled too quickly and silently, posing a danger to pedestrians and other cyclists.
E-bikes can reach speeds of 40km/h, but Sergeant Bain said users needed to limit speeds to 25km/h.
“That limit is legislated – we have gone to the experts and asked them,” she said.
Sergeant Bain said there would be new signage installed to help E-bike users navigate the bike path safely and encourage responsible behavior.
“We will have an engineer out there looking at the track to see if it needs any further amendments,” she said.
“But in the meantime we encourage all E-bike users to enjoy themselves, but ride with care and an awareness for others.”
Sergeant Bain said discussions would be ongoing and the community updated.