Motorised push bikes have become a serious problem in the eyes of many New South Wales residents, but it isn't only the riders who are at risk – it's everyone else around them, too.
A new report from the the Australian Broadcasting Corporation shows that residents, public officials and safety experts all agree motorised push bikes pose serious risks for all on the road. Most recently, a teenage boy was severely injured after he was allegedly hit by a car while riding his new motorised push bike.
The accident, which sent 13-year-old Pono Aperaham to Westmead Hospital's intensive care unit, happened at about 7pm on September 25 near an intersection in Heckenberg.
"It was quite horrific and not only that, to go see the family and to let them know that the boy had been hit by the car," neighbor Julie told ABC. "Ban those bikes. Get rid of them. Get them off the road."
The accident is prompting many to call for motorised push bikes to be banned for use on roads at the very least. Currently, NSW law only bans a handful of motorised vehicles from roads, including foot scooters, mini bikes, SEGWAYS and skateboards that have had engines attached to them.
These bike riders run a 'very great risk'
Phil Brooks, an inspector from the Traffic and Highway Patrol, said people are not only putting themselves at risk when they ride these bicycles, they're also a liability to all the drivers around them.
"You people that are riding these bikes without proper helmets, without proper riding wear, without lights on those bikes do run a very great risk not only to themselves but to other road users," he told ABC.
Currently, the only laws surrounding "power-assisted pedal cycles" are that they must have a maximum power output of 200 watts. Riders do not have to hold a motorcycle rider's license to operate the bikes, and no registration is necessary. If power output is below 200 watts, it is technically street-legal.
However, the NSW government does provide a warning to anyone using a motorised push back, claiming that it is "strongly recommended" for riders to check the criteria for street legality before riding.