The Korea Herald


Seoul to limit operation of 4-wheel bikes to prevent accidents

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 8, 2024 - 16:01

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Parkgoers enjoy the day by riding four-wheel bicycles along the Han River, in Yeouido, Seoul. (Yonhap) Parkgoers enjoy the day by riding four-wheel bicycles along the Han River, in Yeouido, Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Thursday announced a series of safety measures concerning the rental and riding of four-wheel bicycles, which include limiting the areas where they can be operated, reducing the number of bikes and allowing only adults to rent the foot-powered vehicles.

The city government in March kicked off test operations renting out 90 four-wheelers at parks along the Han River. Fifteen of these bikes were stationed at each of Banpo Hangang Park and Ttukseom Hangang Park, while 60 were available at the Yeouido Hangang Park.

Despite the popularity of the bikes, frequent accidents involving them have been reported. Due to the larger size and wider body of the four-wheelers, accidents with the bikes have tended to be more severe compared to conventional bicycles on two wheels.

Seoul has reduced the number of four-wheelers at Yeouido Park from 60 to 30, and is ceasing the operation of four-wheel bikes out of the Ttukseom park altogether for the time being. Officials said this is because Ttukseom Hangang Park has a steep slope that increases the risk of accidents, and the park is expected to be heavily trafficked during the ongoing Seoul International Garden Show 2024, which continues until Oct. 8.

At the Yeouido and Banpo parks, riding the four-wheelers is only permitted on flat surfaces at least 5.2 meters wide. Only those aged 19 or older will be able to rent the four-wheelers, up from the previous restriction of 12 and up.

Children can ride the four-wheeler, of course, if accompanied by an adult.

The new measures include establishing a set of safety rules for users, such as prohibiting riders from getting on the roof of the bike and not operating them while inebriated. The city also plans to install safety features such as signs to mark the beginning and end of zones where the four-wheelers are permitted.

The test operation for the four-wheel bikes will be continue until July, after which a survey will be conducted to inform the formal launch of the rental system.