Thu Apr 02, 2020 London

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Turn Off The Power

The trial of an E-biker who allegedly killed a pedestrian is proof that these menacing machines should be banned or at least regulated

Thomas Hanlon allegedly hit 56-year old Sakine Chihan on his E-bike as she crossed Kingsland Road in Dalston at around 5pm on 28th August 2018.


Cihan suffered serious head injuries and later died in hospital and now Hanlon faces trial on 24th February 2020 accused of causing death by careless driving, causing death whilst uninsured and causing death whilst unlicensed.


Whilst Hanlon is yet to enter a plea, the prosecutor in the case, Nathan Rasiah, has suggested that the bike was travelling at well in excess of the legal power-assisted speed of 15.5 miles per hour and thus breaking the law.


Here, as with E-scooters, is evidence that these contraptions are a danger on both the pavement and the road and here is evidence that at the very least they be better regulated. We’d simply prefer they were banned outright.


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14 comments on “Turn Off The Power”

  1. My understanding is that automobiles have contributed to a fair number of fatalities over the years. Should they be illegal? Enquiring mind wants to know…

    1. The drivers of motorcars are required to pass a test. The users of these deathly motorised E-bike devices are not despite them being machine propelled. This is the issue and exactly why they should at the very least be subject to the user passing a test prior to using. All machine propelled methods of transportation surely should be regulated just as with cars and motorbikes.

    2. Well it’s common sense Alison, Like Matthew said, drivers of cars etc are required to past a test. Not only that, they also have to carry insurance. If we are going to allow these contraptions on our streets, they should be properly regulated. For a start, a registration number plate would be a great idea, so when an E biker bowls over dear old Mable on the side walk while doing her shopping. Witnesses can at least get the number plate before they scoot off. We had the same situation here where a young mother was killed by an unregistered Mini bike rider. While we are on the subject, I would also like to see some sort of registration process for the lycra lunatics on push bikes, that seem to think they can just ride on footpaths, and run red lights, as the road rules don’t seem apply to them. Motorists and pedestrians need some sort of identification when an incident happens. It’s the same old same old, nothing gets done until people start getting killed.

    1. Not when travelling at in excess of 15.5mph. The users should be made to do tests akin to those taken by motorcyclists also.

      1. Any ebike capable of doing more than 15.5 *is* a motorbike and riders are required to have passed a motorbike test and have tax and insurance.

        1. The case is being brought, I believe, because Mr Hanlon’s E-bike is believed to have exceeded 15.5 miles per hour.

  2. Your e-bike is allowed to go more than 15.5 mph. It’s not allowed to be power-assisted above that speed. It’ll be interesting to see what he was actually riding

  3. I suspect what has happened here is that the police believe his vehicle does not comply with the ebike regs and therefore it is a motorised vehicle which requires insurance and a licence. If it is a motorised vehicle he can be charged with the motoring offence of death by careless. If his bike does conform to ebike regs then it’s a bike in the eyes of the law and he couldn’t be charged with the offences he’s been charged with. If it is a bike, the police would have to rely on the old furious cycling offence or whatever it’s called

  4. I’ve never read such silly comments. Firstly all bikes can travel faster than 15.5mph. 15.5mph is actually not very fast at all. A lycra clad man on a road racing bike can easily hit 30mph, and easily past 20mph on a daily commute. Are you suggesting we make them all get taxed and insured? Fast ebikes are now legal to buy in the UK. These will travel at 30mph,and do require insurance, but try insuring one? It’s utterly impossible, I know, I tried many companies. So, what you have here is bikes that can be legally purchased, but then riders are having to break the law because they cannot get insurance. As someone who commutes on a bicycle, 15.5mph,when you’ve got an HGV or an impatient bus up your behind, is not fast enough. It’s highly dangerous for the cyclist. Having slightly faster bikes eliminates that issue, as instead of trying to dangerously overtake, they sit behind, especially in traffic. Its tragic that this pedestrian was killed, however the fault could equally be apportioned to her lack of checks before stepping into the road. It’s tragic, but let’s not demonise ebikes because of a single incident

    1. I agree Tom that e-bikes are great. They get people out of their cars and get people cycling who wouldn’t usually cycle. I wasn’t aware that it was so difficult to get insurance for an e-bike that doesn’t fall within the 250w/15.5mph regs (apologies if the numbers are wrong). It’ll be interesting to see the outcome of the Thomas Hanlon case.

  5. Everyone including cycleists
    Should be required to do a test! They should also have insurance .. However! That won’t change anything .. Even the cycling purists know that bikes take may forms as we’ve seen in the case of heavy cargo bikes.. Wake up everyone.. the world is changing.. it always has done! Now close your eyes & imagine how the transport world will be in a few short years.. Yes! A Jetsons world! Just learn to accept change! Every vehicle user should be insured & taxed, for road or sky use!

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