For Immediate ReleaseNovember 14, 2023
Rate of injuries among school-aged children is increasing in Marin
San Rafael, CA – In Marin County, new data show that electrically powered bicycles (e-bikes) are increasingly involved in 911 responses for bike accidents, especially among young people. It is prompting local authorities to take action.
On October 10, Marin County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) began distinguishing e-bike related 911 responses from conventional bike accidents. In the first month of data collection, the rate of e-bike accidents for youth ages 10 to 19 years old was nine times higher than that for residents over 20 years old.
On November 14, Marin County Public Health issued a Public Health Advisory on e-bike safety for local healthcare providers and launched a public “Bicycle Safety” data dashboard that displays all 911 ambulance responses to bike accidents countywide.
The Public Health Advisory offers guidance for families in four critical e-bike safety measures, based on local trends:
“We fully support getting kids and adults on bikes, including e-bikes, as a healthy and fun way to get around independently,” said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. “The message is really about doing it more safely.”
The newly launched data dashboard will be updated weekly to display all ambulance responses to 911 calls for bike accidents countywide. Conventional bike and e-bike accidents are shown separately, and charts include demographic characteristic of victims and accident locations. Highlights of the first month of data collection includes the following:
The new dashboard is an outcome of a recently developed taskforce made up of Marin County Public Health, Marin County Office of Education, Transportation Authority of Marin, Marin Safe Routes to Schools, local law enforcement and other partners. The taskforce – spearheaded by Marin County Supervisor Mary Sackett – is focused on developing countywide e-bike safety measures and messaging.
“We have a lot of support for developing a balanced response in Marin,” Willis said. “Now we have a clearer picture of the problem we’re tackling together, and more is planned in the weeks to come.”
Before buying an e-bike, or gifting one for the holidays, Public Health recommends talking about it as a family and doing the research. “If buying a new e-bike, consider Class 1 e-bikes the best choice,” added Willis.
Here are additional resources from other agencies:
Dr. Matthew WillisPublic Health OfficerHealth and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-4163Email: Dr. Matthew WillisMarin HHS website