Electric bikes are a huge part of life in Kunming. If I had to drive JD to school each morning by car it would take over 40 minutes, with many traffic jams on the way. By e-bike, it's 15 minutes. So it's alarming that the local government have recently announced that e-bikes will be phased out over the next 3-4 years. The car traffic, and associated pollution, will surely increase as a result. Crazy.
However, the downside of scooters is, of course, the safety factor. Although I've been driving one for five years without major incident, we were confronted with the reality of the danger a couple of days ago when an e-bike, speeding past us in a bus lane, lost control and crashed into our car. He wasn't wearing a helmet and suffered a bleeding head wound and bruising. Thankfully, nothing worse. In China, the law says that the "larger" of any two vehicles in a collision is automatically at fault, regardless of the actions or situation. Fortunately for us, though, the injured e-biker immediately insisted it was all his fault and even offered to pay for the repair of our car's dent. We declined that offer but were mightily relieved to see him driving away. It could have been a whole lot worse.
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