Electric Bicycle Laws

reikiman's picture

Some electric "bicycles" make you scratch your head and say "that's a motorcycle"

I recently had the privilege to test and review a pair of bicycles including one that just makes me question "what's an electric bicycle." See - Head-head the A2B Metro and EMS Elite bicycles

EMS's Elite has a 1000 watt electric motor, top speed a bit over 30 miles/hr, on a road bike style frame. It's very fast and so easy to get up to speed ranges where the laws say it is supposed to be registered and the rider have a motorcycle license. But the manufacturer is selling it as a bicycle.

The laws about electric bicycles are murky to say the least. Some places ban electric bicycles outright for unknown mysterious reasons. Other places restrict the power to 250 watts. I think that some places must be unregulated, and anything goes. In the U.S. the general rule is 750 watts or less and 20 miles/hr or less, but every state and some cities have their own rules and it's a mixmaster of different regulations. At 1000 watts and a 30 miles/hr top speed the Elite is way beyond the majority of the legal definitions regulating electric bicycles.

Many times I've seen electric bicycle riders chafe at these rules. Limited to 20 miles/hr? Unpowered bicyclists can often go faster than that! Uh, yeah, the lycra clad types on racing bikes probably are. In my neighborhood the majority of unpowered bicyclists are riding in the 10-15 miles/hr range and sometimes slower than that.

I'm wondering about safety, about compatibility with other vehicles, and opening the eyes of the people around us to see value in electric bicycles. And I see a possible role for crossover vehicles that are recognized as being a grade above "bicycles", a grade below "motorcycles", and combine pedaling and a motor.

Safety: Would it be safe to take a cheap bicycle and put a 72 volt crystalyte system on it? Some people are doing this and I'm sure it's quite fun. But is it safe? Really? One of the legitimate roles for government is testing and validating product safety. What should government do in this case?

Compatibility: There's a continuum of transportation ranging from the pedestrians, to bicyclists, to scooters, to motorcycles, to cars, to mass transit, etc. Each tends to have their own place on the road. Bicyclists in many places have bicycle lanes giving a place where bicyclists can go bicycle speed. Bicyclists are generally not compatible with the traffic on the road, because they generally go much slower. In the bicycle lane the prevailing speed is bicycle speed while over there where the cars go the prevailing speed is faster. An electric bicycle needs to fit into one or the other, but a fast electric bicycle is going to be faster than the prevailing bicycle speed. That either will frustrate the electric bicyclist (I can go faster than the unpowered bicyclists let me go) or else be a danger as they continually pull out into car traffic to pass other bicyclists.

It is unusual for electric bicycle regulations to be based on motor power. Most vehicle definitions don't have motor power ... e.g. you can get a car with any power you want, one that can go insanely fast, much faster than the speed limit, and there's nothing to stop you so long as the car meets safety regulations. Why do electric bicycles have a limit?

Some guesswork ... I hear that one of the reasons behind banning electric bicycles is that by adding a motor the ebike falls into "motor vehicle" regulatory snafu's. If a given motor vehicle code doesn't have definitions allowing electric bicycles the authorities might say "well, it's not allowed". Also by limiting the power levels below which an electric bicycle can go unregulated it carves out an exception to the general rule that motor vehicles have to be regulated.

A hundred or so years ago when they were first developing motorcycles - they were essentially bicycles with a small gas motor. Some of the motorcycles back then even had usable pedals. Nowadays motorcycles are quite a lot hugely different (to say the least).

Riding the EMS Elite bicycle just had me thinking about this history and the gap between bicycles and motorcycles. I'm wondering whether "bicycle" is the best label for a this kind of vehicle. There is this "moped" label that for example in California's vehicle code the EMS Elite fits perfectly. A Moped in California's law has a speed up to 30 miles/hr and a motor less than 2 HP which would be 1500 watts. Mopeds have lesser regulation than motorcycles but have to meet higher regulation than bicycles. For example lighting and turn signals and rear view mirrors and horns must be up to snuff. I think they're expecting mopeds to be out in traffic rather than in the bicycle lane.

But there aren't many examples of "mopeds" being sold, today.

Some of the companies are selling scooter-bikes, which look like scooters but have a less-than-750-watts motor and speed limited to 20 miles/hr. On this forum Xtreme's XB5xx, XB6xx, XB7xx and other scooterbikes have been popular. But on those the pedals seem useless and I think many people just take the pedals off. There are also scooters with speeds up to 30 miles/hr like my EVT 4000 and those get classified as mopeds despite not having pedals.

I do think it would be quite fun having a "bike" that can combine pedaling and an electric motor and go higher speeds than the 20 miles/hr electric bicycles are limited to. It should be properly designed for the higher speed, it should have lights and horns and turn signals and such so it can be compatible with the car dominated traffic. It should be designed so that the pedals are actually useful, unlike the scooterbikes. And probably it should be regulated and licensed.

Gman's picture

Electric Bicycle Laws

Caution, might not be completely accurate or current. Use only as a Guide. Feel free to make corrections

Electric bicycle laws

Different jurisdictions have varying laws that affect electric bicycles. Motorized bicycles have been around for many years and are considered mopeds in most jurisdictions - particularly if they are powered by
a gasoline motor. The past few years have however seen an emergence of electric
bicycles
as a viable alternative to gas-powered motorized bicycles. Electric bike 2000 project (TP
13732E)

Canada, Europe and the United
States
have all passed legislation recognizing the unique characteristics of electric bikes: their quiet, clean operation,
ease of use and their environmentally benign nature. Most jurisdictions recognize these as distinct from existing moped and
motorcycle classifications because they are more akin to bicycles than their heavier, faster gas-powered cousins (the moped,
motorcycle etc.).
Despite "National" laws defining electric bikes there is still confusion. In the United States and Canada, the national laws
define what safety equipment is required for all electric bicycles, but it is up to States and Provinces to determine the
legality of using electric bicycles on the roads.
Electric bicycles are known by several different names, including "Power-assisted bicycle" (Canada), "Power assisted cycle"
(United Kingdom), or "electric bicycles" in most other places in the world.

Australia

New South Wales

In New South Wales, motor assisted pedal cycles with electric or petrol engines only
need to be registered if the maximum engine output exceeds 200 watts. Riders of cycles exempt from
registration must follow the same rules as for cycles without motors, and vehicles requiring registration (mopeds) are treated as
motorcylces.[1][2]

Canada

Since 2001, Canada's Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) have defined Power Assisted
bicycles (PABs). Power Assisted Bicycles (PABs) are defined as a unique vehicle, separate from a bicycle with an attached
(electric only) motor. [3]
The Canada Gazette clarifies that a motorcycle is
not a power-assisted bicycle, and goes on to define limits on the weight, dimensions, speed, electric wattage output, and other
properties of a power-assisted bicycle.[4] For example, power-assisted-bicycles are limited to an electric motors of 500W
output and a maximum speeds of 32km/h. Other safety requirements must also be met. Canadian laws regarding
electric bicycles or PABs passed on April 12, 2001.

This vehicle can be imported and exported freely within Canada without the same restrictions placed on an automobile or a moped, although electric bicycles are not allowed in a few jurisdictions. In federal law, a
moped is considered a "limited speed motorcycle", and is therefore not a PAB.

Alberta

The Province of Alberta has recently passed progressive legislation that allows ebikes to be legal for street use in the
province, providing they do not have assisted speeds higher than 35 km/h, or an electric motor producing in excess of 750 watts.
Here is the legislation (link has been updated Dec 21/06): [5]

British Columbia

See documentary on Electric Bicycles in Vancouver

Ontario

Ontario is one of the last provinces in Canada to move toward legalizing power-assisted bicycles (PABs) for use on roads, even
though they have been federally defined and completely legal in Canada since early 2001. In
November 2005 "Bill 169" received royal ascent allowing the Ministry of
Transportation of Ontario
(MTO) to place any vehicle on road. On October 4 2006 the Minister of Transportation for Ontario
Donna Cansfield announced the Pilot Project allowing PABs which meet the federal standards definition for operation on road. PAB
riders must follow the rules and regulations of a regular bicycles and must wear an approved bicycle helmet and must be at least
16 years or older. There are sill a number of legal considerations for operating any bicycle in Ontario. [6]


Electric bicycles as mopeds
The closest definition for a power-assisted bicycle (PAB) in Ontario's Highway Traffic Act (HTA) is the definition of a
moped. Defined as a "motor-assisted bicycle," within section 1 of the HTA, it allows for electric mopeds by specifically stating
it is a bicycle:

"...that has an attached motor driven by electricity or having a piston displacement of not more than fifty cubic
centimetres..."
(Highway
Traffic Act
, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, 2006-07-18, Canlii.ca, accessed October 21, 2006)

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), on the other hand, does not include "electric motor" in their
definition and states that a "motor assisted bicycle" is:

a bicycle that:
  • is fitted with pedals that are operable at all times to propel the bicycle;
  • weighs not more than 55 kilograms;
  • has no hand or foot operated clutch or gearbox driven by the motor and transferring power to the driven wheel;
  • has a piston displacement of not more that 50 cubic centimetres; and,
  • does not attain a speed greater than 50 km/hr on level ground within a distance of 2 km from a standing start.
(New and Alternative Vehicles: Motor assisted bicycles (Mopeds), Minitry of Transportation of Ontario, accessed
October 21, 2006)

Supporters wishing to argue that a PAB is not a moped may quote Part XVI, pilot projects, of the HTA which
stipulates that the MTO can make "regulations to create [their] own scheme of rules" and that "a regulation made under
this section may regulate the doing of anything or the use of any thing or prohibit the doing of anything or the using of any
thing." (Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, elaws, accessed October 21, 2006)
A counter argument, by purists that consider a PAB to be a moped, is that the New Alternative Vehicles webpage,
published by the MTO, clearly stipulates that "this information update is to be used as a guide only. For official purposes,
please refer to the Highway Traffic Act." (New and Alternative Vehicles: Motor assisted bicycles (Mopeds), Minitry of Transportation
of Ontario, accessed October 21, 2006).
This inconsistency has been raised to the attention of the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO) and is currently before the Provincial
Offences Courts
.[7] In Ontario, mopeds require registration, plating, and
insurance. (HTA, section 7, and The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act) Owner of such
vehicles may, depending on their insurer, be required to show a safety certificate when insuring their vehicle.

Quebec

In Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia,
power-assisted bicycles are often classified similarly to standard pedal bicycles. They do not have to meet the conditions
defined within the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (they are not classed as "motor vehicles"), but they do have to
comply with federal regulations that define Power Assisted Bicycles.
The Quebec Highway Safety Code defines a power-assisted bicycle as a bicycle with an electric motor. PABs are permitted on the
road in the province of Quebec.

United States

In the United States of America, Congress has defined a low-speed electric bicycle as any bicycle or tricycle with fully
operable pedals, an electric motor not exceeding 750W of power and a top motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour
(equivalent to the Canadian 32km/h). An electric bike or trike that meets these limitations is regarded as a bicycle [8] by Public Law 107-319.[9] This Law defines electric bicycles only for the purpose of Consumer Product Safety
and does not allow for their use on roads. It is a safety criteria that manufacturers should use in building electric bicycles,
which helps protect manufacturers from the threat of lawsuits from within states that attempt to legislate more stringent safety
requirements.
These are Federal regulations that put control of monitoring the safety of electric bicycles into the hands of the Consumer
Products Safety Commission (CPSC), which supersede any state law that is more stringent, but only regarding safety equipment
required on electric bicycles and not regarding whether electric bicycles are street legal. The states still decide what vehicles
are allowed to use the roads in their state.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that “Since [1998, when federal rules regulating equipment on these vehicles became
effective], 37 states have passed legislation allowing these vehicles to be driven on roads with posted speed limits of 35 miles
per hour or lower.” [10]

TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU Specify that legal Ebikes, as defined above, are legal on urban bicycle trail systems getting any
federal funding unless states or local entities have passed laws specifically dis-allowing electric assist bicycles. Under
Federal Law, Ebikes are NOT considered motor vehicles unless the state or local entity has passed a law otherwise.
There is a MISCONCEPTION that when "motor vehicles" or "motorized vehicles" are disallowed by law or by signage, that this
always means ebikes are illegal on trails. This is UNTRUE in many states; these terms do not include "legal low power electric
assist bicycles", and can only be banned by passing a specific state or local law. (See TEA-21 Federal DOT Law)
SAFETEA-LU is a 2005 Federal Re-authorization of the 1990s TEA-21, and renews the exclusion of legal ebikes from the
classification of 'motor vehicles' from urban trail use unless a specific local ebike statute is passed.
http://www.house.gov/transportation_democrats/Bike%20Book%2006.pdf
"Motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails and pedestrian walkways EXCEPT FOR: maintenance purposes, motorized
wheelchairs, and—when State or local regulations permit—snowmobiles and electric bicycles. Electric bicycles are defined for the
purposes of this Act as a bicycle or tricycle with a low-powered electric motor weighing less than 100 pounds with a top
motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour."
(The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, P.L.109-59 Available from the
Government Printing Office or online at www.dot.gov. Title 23, United States Code. Available from the Government Printing Office
or your local library system.)
There is some debate as to if and where the 100 lb rule applies. On the surface it appears to be valid on trails. Check your
state and local laws for any recent changes.
As always, unsafe operation may be a specific illegal or civil matter to be handled by local courts.

Arkansas

27-51-1406 Warning by motorists to persons and animals on highway. Upon approaching a person walking upon or along a
public highway, or a horse or other draft animal being ridden, led, or driven thereon, the operator of a motor vehicle or motor
bicycle shall give reasonable warning of his approach and use every reasonable precaution to avoid injuring the persons or
frightening the horses or other draft animals.
27-51-1407 Stopping for frightened horses. (a) Whenever it shall appear that any horse ridden or driven by any person
upon any streets, roads, and highways is about to become frightened by the approach of any motor vehicle, it shall be the duty of
the person driving or conducting the motor vehicle to cause it to come to a full stop until the horse shall have passed and, if
necessary, assist in preventing an accident.
(b) Any person convicted of violating this section shall be fined in any sum not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200).
27-20-101. Definitions. As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires: (1) "Motorcycle" means every
motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for use of the rider and designed to travel on no more than three (3) wheels in contact
with the ground and having a motor which displaces more than two hundred fifty cubic centimeters (250 cc); (2) "Motor-driven
cycle" means every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for use of the rider and designed to travel on no more than three (3)
wheels in contact with the ground and having a motor which displaces two hundred fifty cubic centimeters (250 cc) or less, but
this definition shall not include a motorized bicycle; (3) "Motorized bicycle" means every bicycle with an automatic transmission
and a motor which does not displace in excess of fifty cubic centimeters (50 cc); and (4) "Street or highway" means the entire
width between property lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as
a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular traffic.
History. Acts 1959, No. 201, § 1; 1975, No. 206, § 1; 1977, No. 561, § 1; 1985, No. 972, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 75-1701; Acts
2005, No. 1942, § 1.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person in the State of Arkansas: (1) To ride any motor-driven cycle other than upon or
astride a permanent or regular seat attached thereto; (2) For any motor-driven cycle to be used to carry more than one (1) person
unless it is equipped with a sidecar or an extra seat and supports for the passenger's feet; (3) For more than two (2) persons to
ride on any motor-driven cycle; and (4) For any person under sixteen (16) years of age to carry another person as a passenger
upon a motor-driven cycle or motorized bicycle. History. Acts 1959, No. 201, § 2; 1975, No. 206, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 75-1702;
Acts 2005, No. 1762, § 1.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motorized bicycle upon interstate highways, limited access highways, or
sidewalks. (c)(1)(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motorized bicycle upon a public street or highway within
this state unless the person has a certificate to operate such a vehicle. (B) Any person who has a motor-driven cycle license or
motorcycle license or a Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D license shall qualify to operate a motorized bicycle and is not
required to obtain a certificate from the Department of Arkansas State Police for the operation of a motorized bicycle. (2)(A)(i)
All motorized bicycle certificates shall be issued by the Department of Arkansas State Police.
(ii) No certificate shall be issued to a person under ten (10) years of age. (B) Prior to being issued a certificate to
operate a motorized bicycle, the applicant shall take and pass an examination pertaining to the rules of the road, a vision test,
and a road test. (C)(i) The Department of Arkansas State Police shall charge a fee of two dollars ($2.00) for each certificate
issued. (ii) The proceeds from these fees shall be deposited in the State Treasury as special revenues and credited to the
Department of Arkansas State Police Fund
27-36-220. Lamps on bicycles. (a) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light
visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500') to the front and with a lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light
visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500') to the rear. (b) A red reflector meeting the requirements of § 27-36-215 may
be used in lieu of a rear light.
History. Acts 1937, No. 300, § 110; Pope's Dig., § 6770; A.S.A. 1947, § 75-708.
27-36-215. Tail lamps and reflectors. (a)(1) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer, and any other
vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a train of vehicles, shall be equipped with at least one (1) tail lamp mounted on the
rear, which, when lighted as required, shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500') to the
rear. (2) In the case of a train of vehicles, only the tail lamp on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the distance
specified. (3) Every mentioned vehicle, other than a truck tractor, registered in this state and manufactured or assembled after
June 11, 1959, shall be equipped with at least two (2) tail lamps mounted on the rear, on the same level and as widely spaced
laterally as practicable, which, when lighted as required, shall comply with the provisions of this section. (b) Every tail lamp
upon every vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than seventy-two inches (72") nor less than twenty inches (20").
(c)(1)(A) Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear
registration plate and render it clearly legible for a distance of fifty feet (50') to the rear. (B) It shall be a violation of
this subsection (c) for any other color of light to be displayed around the registration plate or for white light to be
excesssively used so as to render the registration plate illegible from a distance of less than fifty feet (50'). (2) Any tail
lamp or tail lamps, together with any separate lamp for illuminating the rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be
lighted whenever the headlamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted. (d)(1) Every new motor vehicle sold and operated upon a
highway, other than a truck tractor, shall carry on the rear, either as a part of the tail lamps or separately, two (2) red
reflectors. (2) Every motorcycle and every motor-driven cycle shall carry at least one (1) reflector, meeting the requirements of
this section. (3) Vehicles of the type mentioned in § 27-36-219 shall be equipped with reflectors as required in those sections
applicable thereto. (e)(1) Every reflector shall be mounted on the vehicle at a height not less than twenty inches (20") nor more
than sixty inches (60"), measured as set forth in § 27-36-204 and shall be of such size and characteristics and so mounted as to
be visible at night from all distances within three hundred fifty feet (350') to one hundred feet (100') from the vehicle when
directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps. (2) Visibility from a greater distance will be required of reflectors on
certain types of vehicles.
27-49-111. Use of bicycles or animals. Every person riding a bicycle or an animal, or driving any animal drawing a
vehicle upon a highway, shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except those
provisions of this act which by their nature can have no applicability. Upon approaching a person walking upon or along a public
highway, or a horse or other draft animal being ridden, led, or driven thereon, the operator of a motor vehicle or motor bicycle
shall give reasonable warning of his approach and use every reasonable precaution to avoid injuring the persons or frightening
the horses or other draft animals.

Opinion on Insurance Requirement for Motorized Bicycles

The Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, A.C.A. §§ 27 19 601 621 (1987 & Cum. Supp. 1991), requires motorists to
carry a minimum amount of liability insurance as proof of financial responsibility. See A.C.A. §§ 27 19 605 (1987) and 27 19 713
(Cum. Supp. 1991). The provisions of the act apply to "any vehicle of a type subject to registration under the motor vehicle laws
of this state." A.C.A. § 27 19 601 (Cum. Supp. 1991).
Arkansas Code Annotated § 27 14 703 (1987) requires "every motor vehicle driven or moved upon a highway" to be registered with
the Office of Motor Vehicles. A "motor vehicle" is defined at A.C.A. § 27 19 206 (1987) as a "vehicle which is self propelled and
every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires but not operated upon rails." The fees
for registration and licensing of such motor vehicles are set out at A.C.A. § 27 14 601 (Cum. Supp. 1991). Included among those
"motor vehicles" for which registration fees are required are "motorcycles," "motor driven cycles," and "motorcycle sidecars."
A.C.A. § 27 14 601(a)(4) (Cum. Supp. 1991). "Motorized bicycles" are noticeably absent from this list. Prior to 1987, a
registration fee was required for "motorbikes." However, Act 145 of 1987 altered this previous registration fee requirement from
"motorbikes" to "motor driven cycles." Id. Arkansas Code Annotated § 27 20 101 (1987) defines the terms "motorcycle,"
"motor driven cycle," and "motorized bicycle." A "motor driven cycle" is a "motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for use of the
rider and designed to travel on no more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground and having a motor which displaces two
hundred fifty (250) cubic centimeters or less, but this definition shall not include a motorized bicycle." A.C.A. § 27 20 101(2).
A motorized bicycle is a "bicycle with an automatic transmission and a motor which does not displace in excess of fifty (50)
cubic centimeters." A.C.A. § 27 20 101(3). As can be seen from the definition set out in § 27 20 101(2) for "motor driven cycle,"
such an apparatus is distinctly different from a "motorized bicycle."
It is thus my opinion that, as long as the device has a motor which does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters and has an automatic
transmission, it will be classified as a motorized bicycle and, accordingly, is not required to be registered with the Office of
Driver Services. Similarly, because such a device is not "a vehicle of a type subject to registration," the provisions of the
Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act requiring minimum liability insurance would also not be applicable to such "motorized
bicycles."
The foregoing opinion, which I hereby approve, was prepared by Deputy Attorney General Elisabeth A. Walker.

California

Electric Bicycles are defined by California Vehicle Code section 406(b). The ebike equipment and operation requirements are listed in California Vehicle Code section
24016
.
CVC 406(b) "Motorized
Bicycle"
states:

A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric
motor that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.
(2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level.
(3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster
than 20 miles per hour.

CVC 24016 "Motorized
Bicycle Electric Motor: Safety and Equipment Requirements"
states:

(a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:
(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16
C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et
seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor
driven cycles.
(2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in
a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to
disengage or cease to function.
(b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:
(1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle
helmet
that meets the standards described in Section 21212.
(2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
(3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility,
driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements
, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
(4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.
(5) Every manufacturer of a motorized bicycle shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements
for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).
(c) No person shall tamper with or modify a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 so as to increase the
speed capability of the bicycle.

CVC 21200 "Laws
Applicable to Bicycle Use: Peace Officer Exemption"
states:

(a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the
driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of
alcoholic beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with
Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those
provisions which by their very nature can have no application.
(b)
(1) Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, operating
a bicycle during the course of his or her duties is exempt from the requirements of subdivision (a), except as those requirements
relate to driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, if the bicycle is being operated under any of the
following circumstances:
(A) In response to an emergency call.
(B) While engaged in rescue operations.
(C) In the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law.
(2) This subdivision does not relieve a peace officer from the duty to operate a bicycle with due regard for the safety of all
persons using the highway.

CVC 21200.5 "Riding Bicycle Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs" (source) states:

Notwithstanding Section 21200, it is unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of
an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person arrested for
a violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of the person’s blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of
determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person’s blood pursuant to Section 23612, and, if so requested, the arresting
officer shall have the test performed. A conviction of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than
two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Violations of this section are subject to Section 13202.5.

In Summary, Electric Bicycles are basically, by law, to be operated like conventional bicycles in California. There are two
exceptions to this. A person must be at least 16 years old CVC 24016(b)(4). And all persons riding electric bicycles must wear a bicycle helmet as per
CVC 24016(b)(1)
To be classifies as an electric bicycle[CVC 406(b)], your bike basically must three specifications, has working pedals to
propel the bike, the electric motor must be under 1000 watts, and the electric motor is incapable of propelling the bike faster
than 20 miles per hour by electric power alone. There is also an unclear addition to CVC 406(b). That is CVC 406(b)(3), which
states, "Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle
faster than 20 miles per hour." This is unusual, compared to other state law, such as in Florida, which removed such wording.
People driving/riding Electric bicycles are not required to have financial liability insurance, driver's licenses. And
electric bicycles are not required to be registered or have a license plate as per CVC 24016(b)(3)
Additional laws or ordinances may apply to the use of electric bicycles by each city or county, such as
For more information on California law that applies to electric bicycles, se California Vehicle Code and the Department of
Motor Vehicles of California
. You may also search California Code by key word (LINK)
Advocacy: see California Coalition of Ebike users (via Cycle Santa Monica! and CSM! blog)

Colorado

Updated Nov. 24 2006
Ebike definition in Colorado follows the HR 727 National Law: 20mph e-power and 1 hp max, 2 or 3 wheels, pedals that work.
Streets and Roads: Legal low powered Ebikes are allowed on roads and bike LANES unless the city or county has passed laws to
the contrary-none have to date.
Bicycles and Ebikes are disallowed on certain high speed highways and all Interstates unless signed as "Allowed" in certain
rural Interstate stretches where the Interstate is the ONLY means of travel.
Recently (summer '06) a memo was issued to reduce some technical confusion regarding Colorado Electric bicycle laws:
(cut-n-paste) http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/lcsstaff/2006/comsched/06TLRCPersDevMemo.pdf
Trails and sidewalks:
In Summary, unless the locality has specifically passed laws making ebikes illegal on sidewalks or trails, EBIKES ARE legal.
However most business and shopping districts do not allow riding bikes or ebikes on sidewalks. Boulder and a few other cities
specifically dis-allow ebikes on their trail systems through legal statute.
There is a MISCONCEPTION that when "motor vehicles" or "motorized vehicles" are disallowed by law or by signage, this would
make ebikes illegal on trails. This is UNTRUE in Colorado. In Colorado and many other states, these terms do NOT include "legal
low power electric assist bicycles", and can only be banned by passing a specific local law. (See TEA-21 Federal DOT Law)
SAFETEA-LU is a 2005 Federal Re-authorization of the 1990s TEA-21, and renews the exclusion of legal ebikes from the
classification of motor vehicles from urban trail use unless a specific local statute is passed. http://www.house.gov/transportation_democrats/Bike%20Book%2006.pdf
There is some debate as to if and where the 100 lb rule applies. On the surface it appears to be valid on trails.
Check your local laws for any recent changes.

Connecticut

Complete Connecticut
State Law Title 14 Section. 14-286 Through 14-289

Sec.
14-286.
Use of bicycles and bicycles with helper motors. Regulations re bicycles on bridges.

Use of high-mileage vehicles. (a) Each person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across any roadway upon and
along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal within a reasonable distance
before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Each person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall within a reasonable distance
give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicycle operator. No person shall operate a bicycle
upon or along a sidewalk or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk if such operation is prohibited by any ordinance of any
city, town or borough or by any regulation of the State Traffic Commission issued or adopted pursuant to the provisions of
section 14-298.
(b) No person shall ride a bicycle with a helper motor unless that person holds a valid motor vehicle operator's license.
No person shall operate a bicycle with a helper motor at a rate of speed exceeding thirty miles per hour; nor shall any bicycle
with a helper motor be operated on any sidewalk, limited access highway or turnpike.

(c)
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may issue to a person
who does not hold a valid operator's license a special permit that authorizes such person to ride a bicycle with a helper
motor if (A) such person presents to the commissioner a certificate by a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state
that such person is physically disabled, as defined in section 1-1f, other than blind, and that, in the physician's opinion, such
person is capable of riding a bicycle with a helper motor, and (B) such person demonstrates to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
that he is able to ride a bicycle (i) without a helper motor on level terrain, and (ii) with a helper motor. (2) Such permit may
contain limitations that the commissioner deems advisable for the safety of such person and for the public safety, including, but
not limited to, the maximum speed of the helper motor such person may use. No person who holds a valid special permit under this
subsection shall operate a bicycle with a helper motor in violation of any limitations imposed in the permit. Any person to whom
a special permit is issued shall carry the permit at all times while operating the bicycle with a helper motor. Each permit
issued under this subsection shall expire one year from the date of issuance.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of any statute or regulation to the contrary, the State Traffic Commission shall adopt
regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 determining the conditions and circumstances under which bicycle
traffic may be permitted on those bridges in the state on limited access highways which it designates to be safe for bicycle
traffic. Bicycle traffic shall not be prohibited on any such bridges under such conditions and circumstances.
(e) As used in this section: (1) "Sidewalk" means any sidewalk laid out as such by any town, city or borough, and any walk which
is reserved by custom for the use of pedestrians, or which has been specially prepared for their use. "Sidewalk" does not include
crosswalks and does not include footpaths on portions of public highways outside thickly settled parts of towns, cities and
boroughs, which are worn only by travel and are not improved by such towns, cities or boroughs or by abutters; (2) "bicycle"
includes all vehicles propelled by the person riding the same by foot or hand power or a helper motor; and (3) "helper motor"
means a motor having a capacity of less than fifty cubic centimeters piston displacement, rated not more than two brake
horsepower, capable of a maximum speed of no more than thirty miles per hour and equipped with automatic transmission.
(f) Any person who pleads not guilty of violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be prosecuted within fifteen
days of such plea.
(g) No person may operate a high-mileage vehicle as defined in section 14-1 on any sidewalk, limited access highway or
turnpike.
(h) Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

Sec. 14-286a. Rights, duties and regulation of cyclists.

(a) Every person riding a bicycle, as defined by section 14-286, upon the traveled portion of a highway shall be granted
all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any vehicle subject to the requirements
of the statutes relating to motor vehicles, except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application and
except that each town, city or borough and the State Traffic Commission within its jurisdiction as provided in section 14-298
shall have authority to regulate bicycles as provided in section 14-289 and said section 14-298, and except as provided by
section 14-286c. No parent of any child and no guardian of any ward shall authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to
violate any provision of the general statutes or ordinances enacted under section 14-289 relating to bicycles.
(b) Every person operating a bicycle solely by hand or foot power upon and along any sidewalk or across any roadway upon and
along any crosswalk shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians
walking in such areas as provided by the general statutes, except as provided otherwise by any ordinance of any city, town or
borough or any regulation of the State Traffic Commission issued or adopted pursuant to the provisions of section 14-289.

Sec. 14-286b. Operation of bicycles; attaching to moving vehicle prohibited; carrying of passengers, packages, bundles and
other articles restricted; at least one hand to be kept on handle bars. Operators of roller skates, sleds, skateboards, coasters
and toy vehicles prohibited from attaching to moving vehicle. Penalty.

(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable,
except when (1) making a left turn pursuant to subsection (b) of section 14-241, (2) overtaking and passing another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction, (3) overtaking and passing pedestrians, parked vehicles, animals or obstructions on the right
side of the highway, and (4) when the right side of the highway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair.
(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside
for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast, as provided in this subsection, shall not impede the normal and
reasonable movement of traffic, and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.
(c) No person riding upon any bicycle, roller skates, sled, skateboard, coaster or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself
to any vehicle moving or about to move on a public roadway nor shall the operator of such vehicle knowingly permit any person
riding a bicycle, roller skates, skateboard, coaster, sled or toy vehicle to attach the same or himself to such vehicle so
operated or about to be operated, provided any person operating a bicycle solely by foot or hand power may attach a bicycle
trailer or semitrailer thereto, provided such trailer or semitrailer is designed for such attachment.
(d) No person operating a bicycle, as defined by section 14-286, upon a roadway, path or part of roadway set aside for exclusive
use of bicycles shall carry on such bicycle a passenger unless such bicycle is equipped or designed to carry passengers, provided
any person who has attained the age of eighteen years may carry any child while such person is operating a bicycle propelled
solely by foot or hand power, provided such child is securely attached to his person by means of a back pack, sling or other
similar device. The term "child", as used in this subsection, means any person who has not attained the age of four years.
(e) No person operating a bicycle, as defined by section 14-286, shall carry any package, bundle or other article which prevents
such person from using both hands in the operation of such bicycle. Each person operating such bicycle shall keep at least one
hand on the handlebars thereof when such bicycle is in motion.
(f) Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

Sec. 14-286c. Left and right turns.

(a) Each person riding a bicycle upon the traveled portion of a highway and intending to make a left turn after proceeding
pursuant to the provisions of section 14-244 or subsection (b) of this section, may in lieu of the procedure prescribed by
section 14-241, approach as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway, proceed across the intersecting
roadway and make such turn as close as practicable to the curb or edge of the highway on the far side of the intersection,
provided such procedure is not prohibited by any regulation issued by any town, city, borough or the State Traffic
Commission.
(b) Each person riding a bicycle upon the traveled portion of a highway and intending to make a right turn may in lieu of the
procedure prescribed by section 14-244, before turning and while in motion or if stopped while waiting to turn signal such turn
by extending his right hand and arm horizontally with forefinger extended.
(c) No person operating a bicycle upon the traveled portion of a highway and intending to make a right or left turn shall be
required when making a signal of such intention to make such signal continuously.

Sec. 14-286d. Bicycle helmets. Children. Renting bicycles. Public awareness campaign.

(a) For the purposes of this section and section 14-286e, "bicycle" means any vehicle propelled by the person riding the
same by foot or hand power.
(b) No child fifteen years of age or under shall operate a bicycle on the traveled portion of any highway unless such child is
wearing protective headgear which conforms to the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute
or the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. Failure to comply with this section
shall not be a violation or an offense. Failure to wear protective headgear as required by this subsection shall not be
considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the parent or the child nor shall such failure be admissible in any civil
action.
(c) A law enforcement officer may issue a verbal warning to the parent or guardian of a child that such child has failed to
comply with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
(d) A person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall provide a bicycle helmet conforming to the
minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standard for
Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling to any person under sixteen years of age who will operate the bicycle if such person
does not have a helmet in his possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental. Violation of any of the provisions of this
subsection shall be an infraction.
(e) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may establish, within available appropriations, a public awareness campaign to
educate the public concerning the dangers of riding bicycles without helmets and to promote the use of safety helmets while
riding bicycles.

Sec. 14-286e. Police officers on bicycles.

(a) A police officer operating a bicycle in response to an emergency call or while engaged in rescue operations or in the
immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law shall be exempt from the provisions of sections 14-286, 14-286a,
14-286b, 14-286c and 14-289 provided (1) the police officer is wearing a distinctive uniform and (2) the police officer has
completed a course of instruction in basic police bicycle patrol certified by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council
or an equivalent course of instruction.
(b) The exemptions granted in subsection (a) of this section shall apply only when such bicycle is making use of an audible
warning signal device, including, but not limited to a siren, whistle or bell.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the operator of a bicycle from the duty to drive with due regard for the
safety of all persons and property.

Sec.
14-286d.
Bicycle helmets. Children. Renting bicycles. Public awareness campaign.

(a) For the purposes of this section and section 14-286e, "bicycle" means any vehicle propelled by the person riding the
same by foot or hand power.
(b) No child fifteen years of age or under shall operate a bicycle on the traveled portion of any highway unless such child is
wearing protective headgear which conforms to the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute
or the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. Failure to comply with this section
shall not be a violation or an offense. Failure to wear protective headgear as required by this subsection shall not be
considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the parent or the child nor shall such failure be admissible in any civil
action.
(c) A law enforcement officer may issue a verbal warning to the parent or guardian of a child that such child has failed to
comply with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
(d) A person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall provide a bicycle helmet conforming to the
minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standard for
Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling to any person under sixteen years of age who will operate the bicycle if such person
does not have a helmet in his possession. A fee may be charged for the helmet rental. Violation of any of the provisions of this
subsection shall be an infraction.
(e) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may establish, within available appropriations, a public awareness campaign to
educate the public concerning the dangers of riding bicycles without helmets and to promote the use of safety helmets while
riding bicycles.

Sec.
14-286e.
Police officers on bicycles.

(a) A police officer operating a bicycle in response to an emergency call or while engaged in rescue operations or in the
immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law shall be exempt from the provisions of sections 14-286, 14-286a,
14-286b, 14-286c and 14-289 provided (1) the police officer is wearing a distinctive uniform and (2) the police officer has
completed a course of instruction in basic police bicycle patrol certified by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council
or an equivalent course of instruction.
(b) The exemptions granted in subsection (a) of this section shall apply only when such bicycle is making use of an audible
warning signal device, including, but not limited to a siren, whistle or bell.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the operator of a bicycle from the duty to drive with due regard for the
safety of all persons and property.

Sec.
14-287.
Carrying person other than operator on bicycle.

Section 14-287 is repealed.

Sec.
14-288.
Lights, reflectors and brakes on bicycles. Whistle emitting devices prohibited.

(a) Each bicycle operated upon the public highway, during the times or under the conditions as provided in subsection (a)
of section 14-96a, shall display a lighted lamp upon the forward part of such bicycle. Such lamp shall, when lighted, emit a
white light which in clear weather shall be visible at a distance of not less than five hundred feet in the direction in which
such bicycle is proceeding. Each bicycle shall also, at all times, be equipped with a reflector or reflecting tail light lens,
which reflector or lens shall be attached to the rear of such bicycle in such manner as to reflect rays of light thrown upon the
same, and such reflector or reflecting tail shall be visible at a distance of not less than six hundred feet from the rear when
illuminated by the head lamps of a motor vehicle. Such bicycle shall also be equipped with reflective material so placed and of
sufficient size and reflectivity to be visible from both sides of such bicycle at a distance of not less than six hundred feet
when illuminated by the head lamps of a motor vehicle. Each bicycle shall also, at all times, be equipped with a braking device
sufficient to enable the operator thereof to stop within twenty-five feet on dry, level and clean pavement when moving at a speed
of ten miles per hour. No person shall equip a bicycle with a siren or device which emits a whistle or use a siren or device
which emits a whistle while operating a bicycle.
(b) Operation of a bicycle in conflict with any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

Sec.14-289.Regulation of use of bicycles by municipality.

Each town, city and borough shall have authority to make any ordinance not inconsistent with section 14-286 or 14-288 or
any regulation of the State Traffic Commission issued pursuant to section 14-298, respecting governing and controlling the use of
bicycles within such town, city or borough, with appropriate penalties for violation thereof, which ordinances may include
provisions requiring annual licensing of bicycles and providing for registration of any sale of, or change of ownership in, a
bicycle.

Sec.
14-289a.
Riding on motorcycle. Carrying of passenger.

A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator
shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless such motorcycle is properly equipped to
carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons,
or upon another seat firmly attached to the rear or side of the operator. No operator of a motorcycle who has not held a license
to operate a motorcycle for a period of three months shall carry any other person on such motorcycle. Violation of any provision
of this section shall be an infraction.

Florida

"bicycle" in 316.003(2), Florida Statutes (2004). A bicycle is:

[e]very vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human
power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on
level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle
though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25
inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device....
[11]

Hawaii

To be considered a "bicycle" under Hawaii law, a vehicle is required to be human propelled only.
A scooter with a motor of any kind must meet the State of Hawaii's safety guidelines as required of mopeds.

[§291C-127] Coasting prohibited. The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the
gears or transmission of the vehicle in neutral or with the clutch disengaged. [L 1971, c 150, pt of §1]
§291C-202 Moped equipment requirements and inspection. (a) Every moped offered for sale for use upon, sold for use upon, or
used upon the roadways and highways shall be equipped with:
(1) A motor having a maximum power output capability, measured at the motor output shaft, in accordance with the Society of
Automotive Engineers standards, of two horsepower (one thousand four hundred ninety-two watts) or less and, if it is a combustion
engine, a maximum piston or rotor displacement of 3.05 cubic inches (fifty cubic centimeters) and which will propel the moped,
unassisted, on a level surface at a maximum speed no greater than thirty miles per hour; provided that those mopeds, including
those modified pursuant to section 291C-206, registered prior to April 23, 1998 shall continue to be subject to the prior
thirty-five miles per hour maximum speed limitation; and
(2) A direct or automatic power drive system which requires no clutch or gear shift operation by the moped driver after the
drive system is engaged with the power unit.
(b) The director of transportation by rules and regulations, pursuant to chapter 91, shall establish criteria which shall
comply with approved federal regulations for the following moped equipment: brake system; fuel system components; exhaust system
components; steering system; handlebars; wheel rims; fenders; a guard or protective covering for drive belts, chains and rotating
components; seat or saddle; lamps and reflectors; equipment controls; speedometer; retracting stand; horn; and identification
markings.
(c) The director of transportation by rules and regulations, pursuant to chapter 91, shall establish criteria and procedures
for the annual safety inspection of every moped. Safety inspection criteria shall include the criteria established by the
director of transportation under subsection (b). [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15; am L 1979, c 107, §2; am L 1998, c 25, §1]
[§291C-203] Certification of compliance. A person engaged in the business of selling mopeds shall provide to the director of
finance of the county in which the mopeds are sold a certificate from the moped manufacturer that each class, type or model of
moped offered for sale or sold meets the performance and equipment requirements of this part. [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15
4. HRS_0291C-0191.HTM
[PART XVI.] SPECIAL RULES FOR MOPEDS
[§291C-191] Definition. As used in this part "FMVSS" means Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard as prescribed in Title 49,
Part 571, Code of Federal Regulations. [L 1978, c 175, pt of §15]

Indiana

Iowa

Latest update on IOWA
During the 2006 Iowa legislative session, a bill was passed, and subsequently signed into law, that changed the definition of
a bicycle to include a bicycle that has an electric motor of less than 1 horse power. The new definition, found in Iowa Code
section 321.1(40)c states:
"Bicycle" means either of the following: (1) A device having two wheels and having at least one saddle or seat for the use of
a rider which is propelled by human power. (2) A device having two or three wheels with fully operable pedals and an electric
motor of less than 750 watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor
while ridden, is less than 20 miles per hour.

Kentucky

186.010 Sect. 186.010
Definitions

(5) "Moped" means either a motorized bicycle whose frame design may include one (1) or more horizontal crossbars supporting
a fuel tank so long as it also has pedals, or a motorized bicycle with a step-through type frame which may or may not have pedals
rated no more than two (2) brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty (50) cubic centimeters, an automatic
transmission not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged, and capable of a maximum
speed of not more than thirty (30) miles per hour.

See Also:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/186-00/010.PDF
138.450 Definitions for KRS 138.455 to 138.470.
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/138-00/450.PDF
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/recarch/98RS/SB275/SCS1.doc
Louisville Wheelman "Cyclists and the Law in Kentucky"
http://www.louisvillebicycleclub.org/jul97/kylaws.htm
"Bicycle Safety" News article
http://www.clarkcoatty.com/mr_archive.phtml?pid=73
An analysis of Ketucky law (9/12/2006):
Electric bicycle fits under the definition of "moped" under Kentucky law. You don't need tag or insurance, but you need a
driver's license.
138.450 Exempts mopeds from excise taxes. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/138%2D00/450.pdf)
186.410, 186.4101, 186.412, 186.430, 186.450, 186.560 Establishes the requirement to have an operator's license to operate a
moped. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/410.pdf) (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/4101.pdf) (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/412.pdf)
(http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/430.pdf) (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/450.pdf) (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/560.pdf)
186A.080, 186.010 Exempts mopeds from title and registration requirements. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186a00/080.pdf) (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/186%2D00/010.pdf)
187.290 Excludes Mopeds from motor vehicle financial responsibility laws. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/189%2D00/040.pdf)
189.040 Requires that Mopeds be equipped with 1 or 2 headlights. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/189%2D00/040.pdf)
189.285 Excludes Moped from from helmet requirements. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/189%2D00/285.pdf)
189.752 Excludes Mopeds from laws regarding notification and removal of abandoned vehicles from state highways. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/189%2D00/752.pdf)
190.010, 190.090 Excludes mopeds from most laws regarding motor vehicle sales. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/190%2D00/010.pdf)
(http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/190%2D00/090.pdf)
281A.170 Establishes "Class E" moped only license.
304.39-020 Excludes mopeds from having to have insurance. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/304%2D39/020.pdf)
367.841 Removes most laws regarding the purchase of motor vehicles from applying to the purchaser of mopeds. (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/367%2D00/841.pdf)

Massachusetts

The legal definition/description of an electric bicyel is most closely described in the code as a "motorized scooter" in that
it is powered by an electric motor and/or human power. You can find it "PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, TITLE XIV. PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS, CHAPTER 90.
MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT, MOTOR VEHICLES, Chapter 90: Section 1. Definitions"
. It may be also be described as a "Motorized
bicycle". However, that description does not include electric powered motor specifically. And it appears that the legal
definition "Motorized Bicycle" and "Motorized Scooter" are in conclict.
CODE REGARDING LEGAL DESCRIPTION OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES:
"PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, TITLE XIV. PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS, CHAPTER 90. MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT, MOTOR
VEHICLES, Chapter 90: Section 1. Definitions"
Chapter 90: Section 1.
Definitions

The following words used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning is clearly apparent
from the language or context, or unless such construction is inconsistent with the manifest intention of the legislature:

Motorized bicycle

a pedal bicycle which has a helper motor, or a non-pedal bicycle which has a motor, with a cylinder capacity not exceeding
fifty cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission, and which is capable of a maximum speed of no more than thirty miles per
hour.
(source)

Motorized scooter,

any 2 wheeled tandem or 3 wheeled device, that has handlebars, designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, powered
by an electric
or gas powered motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion.
The definition of “motorized scooter” shall not include a motorcycle or motorized bicycle or a 3 wheeled motorized
wheelchair.
(source)

CODE REGARDING OPERATION OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES:
PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, TITLE XIV. PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS, CHAPTER 90. MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT, MOTOR
VEHICLES
Chapter 90: Section 1B.
Motorized bicycles; operation regulations

A motorized bicycle shall not be operated upon any way, as defined in section one within the commonwealth by any person
under sixteen years of age, nor at a speed in excess of twenty-five miles per hour. A motorized bicycle shall not be operated on
any way by any person not possessing a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit. Every person operating a motorized bicycle
upon a way shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where
signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the
commonwealth and the regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) the motorized bicycle operator may keep to the right
when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, and (2) the motorized bicycle operator shall signal
by either hand his intention to stop or turn. Motorized bicycles may be operated on bicycle lanes adjacent to the various ways,
but shall be excluded from off-street recreational bicycle paths. Every person operating a motorized bicycle or riding as a
passenger on a motorized bicycle shall wear protective headgear conforming with such minimum standards of construction and
performance as the registrar may prescribe, and no person operating a motorized bicycle shall permit any other person to ride a
passenger on such motorized bicycle unless such passenger is wearing such protective headgear. A person convicted of a violation
of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars for the first offense, not less than twenty-five
nor more than fifty dollars for a second offense, and not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars for subsequent
offenses committed.

PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, TITLE XIV. PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS, CHAPTER 90. MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT, MOTOR
VEHICLES
Chapter 90: Section 7S.
Motorcycle sound emissions; definitions

“Motorcycle”, any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than
three wheels in contact with the ground, including any bicycle with a motor or driving wheel attached, except a tractor or a
motor vehicle designed for carrying golf clubs and not more than four persons, an industrial three-wheel truck, or a motor
vehicle on which the operator and passengers ride within an enclosed cab.

CHAPTER 222 OF THE ACTS OF
2002, CHAPTER 93B. REGULATION OF BUSINESS PRACTICES BETWEEN MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND DEALERS

"Powersport vehicle", any motor vehicle defined as a motorcycle or motorized bicycle by section 1 of chapter 90 and
required to be registered under chapter 90 regardless of curb weight or any motor vehicle required to be registered under
sections 20 to 35, inclusive, of chapter 90B having a curb weight of not more than 1,000 pounds.

Definitions and
usage

Minnesota

Minnesota law enforcement and the general public currently have many questions related to the increased use of motorized
bicycles, scooters, and electric-assisted bicycles. The following information is a brief overview of current state law on the
subject of motorized bicycles. For more complete regulations, consult state statutes and rules.

To legally operate a motorized bicycle or electric-assisted bicycle the operator must be licensed, the motorized
bicycle/electric-assisted bicycle must be registered in one of the following definitions and meet the required safety equipment.
If the operator or the motorized bicycle/electric- assisted bicycle does not meet all requirements, they will not be legal for
street/highway use (including the sidewalk).

DEFINITIONS:

To qualify as a motorized bicycle under state law they need to have:

• Motor of a piston displacement capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less
• Maximum of two brake horsepower
• Maximum speed of not more than 30 mph on a flat surface
• Fully operable pedals for human propulsion are not required, but may be a part of the machine.

To qualify as an electric-assisted bicycle under state law they need to have:

• Has a seat and fully operable pedals for human propulsion
• Meets federal motor vehicle safety standards
• Has an electric motor that has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts
• Maximum speed of not more than 20 mph (electric motor and human power combined)
• Disengages or ceases to function when the vehicle’s brakes are applied.
• Two or three wheels

DRIVERS LICENSE REQUIRMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS:

To operate a motorized/electric-assisted bicycle on the streets or highways a person must:

• Have a valid driver’s license or a motorized bicycle permit.

A person under the age of 16 operating a motorized/electric-assisted bicycle under a motorized bicycle permit is subject to
the following restrictions:

• No passengers (a parent or guardian my ride if the motorized/electric assisted bicycle is equipped with a seat and footrests
for a passenger)
• No night driving
• No driving on any highway marked as an interstate
• Must wear a helmet
• Foot rests for passengers (if designed for passenger(s)

A motorized bicycle permit is available to persons of at least 15 years of age who have passed the motorized bicycle test or
passed a motorized bicycle course.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

• Headlight and taillight (headlight must be on at all times when operated on streets or highways)
• At least one rear view mirror
• Helmet use required of any operator or passenger of a motorized bicycle if under the age of 18.
• Helmet use required for any operator of an electric–assisted bicycle regardless of age and any passenger under the age of
18.
• Must have a permanent seat (no passenger(s) unless designed to accommodate passenger(s))
• Eye protection is required by the operator (not required for electric-assisted bicycles)
• Directional signals if operated at night
• Working horn
• Working brake

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

A motorized bicycle would need the same coverage as a motorcycle would in this state. An electric-assisted bicycle would NOT
need coverage.

PARKING RULES

A person may park a motorized/electric-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk unless prohibited or restricted by local authorities. It
must not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrians or other traffic.

DRIVING RULES

Operators are subject to driving rules and equipment requirements (if applicable) when operated on the public streets or
highways (which includes the main traveled portion of the road, shoulder and sidewalk). This means that an operator could be
cited for speeding, failure to signal, unsafe change of course, driving on the sidewalk, DWI (this would apply to anywhere in the
state and not just the streets/highways), and all other driving rules contained within state law that would apply. They may also
not ride more than two abreast and may not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. On a laned roadway, they must
operate within a single lane.

The operator of a motorized bicycle must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway with
several exceptions (may not operate on the shoulder of the roadway).

The operator of an electric-assisted bicycle may operate on the shoulder of a roadway if the electric-assisted bicycle is
traveling in the same direction as the adjacent vehicular traffic.

RELATED STATE LAWS

169.01 subd 4a and 4b
169.222 subd 9
169.223
169.974
171.02 subd 3
65B.001 subd 5
169.797
168.011 subd 27
Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, sections 571.01 et seq.

New Jersey

From http://moped2.org/laws/New-Jersey.htm

New Jersey Moped Laws

Moped definition
A motorized bicycle, or moped, is defined by law as a pedal bicycle with a helper motor that has a maximum piston
displacementof less than 50 cubic centimeters, or no more than 1.5 brake horsepower,and is capable of a maximum speed of no more
than 25 miles per hour on a flat surface. A ticket can be issued to moped operators if they are traveling faster than 25 mph in a
30 mph speed zone.Motorized tricycles are not legal in New Jersey and cannot beoperated on public roadways.
Although they resemble bicycles, MOPEDs are heavier and handle differently. They usually require longer braking distances to
stop, don't turn as quickly and are harder to pedal than bicycles. Moped License requirements
Operators must carry a valid driver license, registration certificate and insurance identification card while driving a MOPED.
Failure to do so can result in a fine up to $50. How to Obtain a Moped License
* be at least 15 years old
* Visit an MVC Agency to complete an application for a moped permit.
* Pass the 6 Point ID Verification
* Pay $5 examination permit fee
* Pass the knowledge and vision tests to validate your permit. Study by reading the Driver Manual and Motorcycle Manual
* You must practice with a permit for at least 20 days before being eligible to take the road test
* If you pass the road test, take your permit, ride slip and score sheet to an MVC Agency to receive your license and pay the $6 license fee

Moped registration
Owners must Title and register their vehicles before they can be driven on public roadways. Only MOPEDs approved by Motor
Vehicle Services can be titled and registered. The titling fee is $20. The registration fee is $8 a year. MOPEDs must have a
special MOPED license plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle. You can title and register the MOPED at any motor vehicle
agency.
Moped insurance
Obtain liability insurance covering bodily injury up to $15,000, death up to $30,000, and property damage up to $5,000. Other
moped laws
* All operators and riders must wear a helmet. Safety helmets must meet the specifications established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. A full face shield is not required, but is recommended to prevent injury. Failure to do so will result in a serious injury and/or a fine of up to $100.
* Eye protection, such as goggles, is recommended, but not required to operate a moped.
* Mopeds must drive on the road as far to the right as possible, with an exception for turning left.
* Operators cannot drive mopeds more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded. If traffic is impeded, mopeds must be operated in a single file line. Drivers should then communicate with other moped drivers with hand or voice signals.
* Operators are not allowed to carry passengers.
* Mopeds cannot attach themselves to other vehicles to "hitch a ride."
* Mopeds cannot be operated on sidewalks, the interstate highway system, four-lane highways divided by a median, railroads, and highways with a speed limit over 50 mph.
* Mopeds are required to have a bell or horn that can be heard from at least 100 feet away
* A front white headlamp and red rear taillight that can be seen from 500 feet are required on all mopeds. These lights can be used all day, but must be used between sunset and sunrise, and in bad weather conditions.
* Mopeds must have enough braking power to make the vehicle skid a dry, level, and clean piece of pavement.
* The recommended clothing that moped operators should wear for safety reasons includes:
o Bright clothes for easy visibility
o An approved motorcycle helmet
o Goggles, faceshield, and glasses
o Pants made of heavy material
o Heavy jacket for protection against scrapes
o Leather gloves for grip
o Several layers of clothing

New York

Electric motor assisted bicycles have been banned in the State of New York and are not permitted for on-road use.[12]
The New York State DMV's
"Frequently Asked Questions" website
states:

"Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a
registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment."

It continues,

"These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle
traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license,
inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private
property. Contact the local authorities and property owners."

It appears the only known allowance of an electric bicycle is if it is an electric powered moped, at this time.
Other Resources:

A00071: Proposed Bill to Allow Use of Electric Bicycles in New York
(please note, this bill has NOT YET been passed into law!)
A00071 Memo:

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the definition of electric assisted
bicycle

PURPOSE:

This bill clarifies the vehicle and traffic law to define electric assisted bicycles; establish that electric assisted
bicycles, as defined, are bicycles, not motor vehicles; and establish safety and operational criteria for their use.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill adds a new Section 102-c to the vehicle and traffic law, defining electric assisted bicycles
as:

A bicycle with two or three wheels which has a saddle and fully operative pedals for human propulsion, and also has an
electric motor.

However, the electric motor should not have a power output of more than one thousand watts, and should be incapable of
propelling the device at a speed of more than twenty miles per hour on level ground. The electric motor should also be incapable
of further increasing the speed of the device when human power alone is used to propel the device at or more than twenty miles
per hour.

Section 2 adds an exception in section 125 of the vehicle and traffic law to the statutory definition of motor vehicle
for electric assisted bicycles.

Section 3 adds a new section 1240 to the vehicle and traffic law, making the rules, regulations and provisions of the
vehicle and traffic law applicable to bicycles applicable to electric assisted bicycles; makes the federal equipment and
manufacturing requirements for bicycles or motor driven cycles applicable to electric assisted bicycles; and adds the following
operational and safety requirements for electric assisted bicycles: electric motor disengagement criteria; all operators and
passengers are required to wear bicycle helmets; and no-one under the age of 16 may operate or as a passenger on an electric
assisted bicycle and establishes the civil fine and enforcement procedures for failure to wear a helmet.

Section 4 is the effective date.

EXISTING LAW: None.

JUSTIFICATION: Defining and establishing operational criteria for electric assisted bicycles will clarify for
authorities that these vehicles are more akin to bicycles than motorcycles. This will assist in interpreting the application of
the appropriate vehicle and traffic laws to operators and passengers of these vehicles.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2004 A.588 - Passed Assembly; S.7389 - died in Senate Rules Committee
2000 Original bill - Died in Assembly Transportation Committee.
1999 Original bill - Died in Assembly Transportation Committee.
1998 Original bill - Died in Assembly Transportation Committee.
1997 Original bill -Reported by Assembly Transportation Committee;
Died in Assembly Rules Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

Pennsylvania

The following is from:
http://www.dotdevuat.state.pa.us/pdotforms/pub_45/section_ab.pdf
This chapter implements 75 Pa. C.S. §§4101-4982, (relating to vehicle characteristics).
(For fastest access to pertinent information on motorized bicycles, search the document for "motorized pedalcycle.")
Section 175.2 "Definitions" defines "motorized pedalcycle":
A motor-driven cycle equipped with operable pedals, a motor rated no more than 1.5 brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity not
exceeding 50 cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission and a maximum design speed of no more than 25 miles per hour.
Section 175.4 "Vehicles Required To Be Inspected" lists exceptions. Exception Number 6 is "A motorized pedalcycle."
The following PennDOT fact sheet gives a definition for "moped" that is identical to the definition of "motorized pedalcycle,"
above, and lists the following criteria:
1. Engine may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters. 2. Engine may not exceed 1.5 brake horsepower rating. 3. Operable pedals
required. 4. Automatic transmission required. 5. Design speed may not be more than 25 miles per hour. 6. Does not require
inspection. 7. Moped plate issued. 8. Annual registration fee is $9.00. 9. No helmet or eye protection required for driver. 10.
Class C required on Driver’s License.*
http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/fact_sheets/fs-momo.pdf

  • Class C is the standard class allowing people to drive automobiles. The point of this provision is to clarify that a Class M
    endorsement is not required as it is with motorcycles.

Comment: This definition was clearly written with gasoline powered pedalcycles in mind. The requirement of an automatic
transmission is troublesome for those who just want to add an electric-assist motor to a bicycle, for almost all bicycles have
transmissions consisting of chains and manually shifted sprockets.
It is also troubling that a moped plate and drivers license are required. Ordinary bicycles without power-assist frequently
exceed 25 mph, even on the level, when ridden by strong cyclists. Power assist that meets the criteria above is irrelevant to
downhill speeds.

Tennessee

See news report on use of electric bicycles in Tennessee.

Texas

"Bicycles" and "Electric Bicycles" are legally defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Subtitle C. Rules of the Road,
Chapter 541,"Definintions" as follows:

Sec. 541.201. Vehicles. In this subtitle:

(2) "Bicycle" means a device that a person may ride and that is propelled by human power and has two tandem wheels at least
one of which is more than 14 inches in diameter. The following definition of electric bicycle was passed by the Texas legislature
in 2001:
(24) "Electric bicycle" means a bicycle that:
(A) is designed to be propelled by an electric motor, exclusively or in combination with the application of human power;
(B) cannot attain a speed of more than 20 miles per hour without the application of human power; and
(C) does not exceed a weight of 100 pounds.

The law reqarding the "operation" of "bicycles" and "electric bicycles" are in the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 551.,
titled "Operation of Bicycles, Mopeds, and Play Vehicles" in Subchapter A, B, C, and D. as follows:

SUBCHAPTER A.
Sec. 551.001. PERSONS AFFECTED.

Except as provided by Subchapter C, this chapter applies only to a person operating a bicycle[0] on:
(1) a highway; or
(2) a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles[0].
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, § 4, eff. Sept. 1,
2003.

§ 551.002. MOPED AND ELECTRIC BICYCLE[0] INCLUDED.

A provision of this subtitle applicable to a bicycle[0] also applies to:
-(1) a moped, other than a provision that by its nature cannot apply to a moped; and
-(2) an electric bicycle[0], other than a provision that by its nature cannot apply to an electric bicycle[0].
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, § 9, eff. Sept. 1,
2001.

SUBCHAPTER B. REGULATION OF OPERATION
§ 551.101. RIGHTS AND DUTIES.

(a) A person operating a bicycle[0] has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under this
subtitle, unless:
(1) a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or
(2) a right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a
bicycle[0].
(b) A parent of a child or a guardian of a ward may not knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this subtitle.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

§ 551.102. GENERAL OPERATION.

(a) A person operating a bicycle[0] shall ride only on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the
bicycle[0].
(b) A person may not use a bicycle[0] to carry more persons than the bicycle[0] is designed or equipped to carry.
(c) A person operating a bicycle[0] may not use the bicycle[0] to carry an object that prevents the person from operating the
bicycle[0] with at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle[0].
(d) A person operating a bicycle[0], coaster, sled, or toy vehicle or using roller skates may not attach either the person or the
bicycle[0], coaster, sled, toy vehicle, or roller skates to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

§ 551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle[0] on a roadway who is moving slower than the other
traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
-(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;
-(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; -(3) a condition on or of the
roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person
from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or
-(4) the person is operating a bicycle[0] in an outside lane that is:
--(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle[0] lane adjacent to that lane; or
--(B) too narrow for a bicycle[0] and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.
(b) A person operating a bicycle[0] on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to
the left curb or edge of the roadway.
(c) Persons operating bicycles[0] on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in
a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may
not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of
bicycles[0].
(d) Repealed by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, § 10, 13, eff. Sept. 1,
2001.

§ 551.104. SAFETY EQUIPMENT.

(a) A person may not operate a bicycle[0] unless the bicycle[0] is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel
skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
(b) A person may not operate a bicycle[0] at nighttime unless the bicycle[0] is equipped with:
-(1) a lamp on the front of the bicycle[0] that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the
bicycle[0]; and
-(2) on the rear of the bicycle[0]:
--(A) a red reflector that is:
---(i) of a type approved by the department; and
---(ii) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to
the rear of the bicycle[0]; or
--(B) a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle[0].
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, § 11, eff. Sept. 1,
2001.

§ 551.105. COMPETITIVE RACING.
(a) In this section, "bicycle[0]" means a nonmotorized vehicle propelled by human power.
(b) A sponsoring organization may hold a competitive bicycle[0] race on a public road only with the approval of the appropriate
local law enforcement agencies.
(c) The local law enforcement agencies and the sponsoring organization may agree on safety regulations governing the movement of
bicycles[0] during a competitive race or during training for a competitive race, including the permission for bicycle[0]
operators to ride abreast.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

§ 551.106. REGULATION OF ELECTRIC BICYCLES.
(a) The department or a local authority may not prohibit the use of an electric bicycle[0] on a highway that is used primarily by
motor vehicles. The department or a local authority may prohibit the use of an electric bicycle[0] on a highway used primarily by
pedestrians.
(b) The department shall establish rules for the administration of this section.
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, § 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
SUBCHAPTER C. ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES

Sec. 551.201. DEFINITION.

In this subchapter, "electric personal assistive mobility device" means a two non-tandem wheeled device designed for
transporting one person that is:
(1) self-balancing; and
(2) propelled by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 750 watts or one horsepower.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.202. OPERATION ON ROADWAY.

(a) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway
with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less only:
(1) while making a direct crossing of a highway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk;
(2) where no sidewalk is available; or
(3) when so directed by a traffic control device or by a law enforcement officer.
(b) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of
bicycles[0].
(c) Any person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway shall
ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge.
(d) Except as otherwise provided by this section, provisions of this title applicable to the operation of bicycles[0] apply to
the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.203. SIDEWALKS.

A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

SUBCHAPTER D. NEIGHBORHOOD ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Sec. 551.301. DEFINITIONS.
Text of section as amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 281, § 2.86

In this subchapter: (1) "Neighborhood electric vehicle" means a vehicle subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500
(49 C.F.R. Section 571.500). (2) "Motor assisted scooter":
(A) means a self-propelled device with:
(i) at least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation;
(ii) a braking system capable of stopping the device under typical operating conditions; (iii) a gas or electric motor not
exceeding 40 cubic centimeters;
(iv) a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the device; and
(v) the ability to be propelled by human power alone; and
(B) does not include a pocket bike or minimotorbike. (3) "Pocket bike or minimotorbike" means a self-propelled vehicle that is
equipped with an electric motor or internal combustion engine having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, is
designed to propel itself with not more than two wheels in contact with the ground, has a seat or saddle for the use of the
operator, is not designed for use on a highway, and is ineligible for a certificate of title under Chapter
501. The term does not include: (A) a moped or motorcycle; (B) an electric bicycle[0] or motor-driven cycle, as defined by
Section 541.201; (C) a motorized mobility device, as defined by Section 542.009; (D) an electric personal assistive mobility
device, as defined by Section 551.201; or (E) a neighborhood electric vehicle. Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, § 7, eff.
Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, § 19.07, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 281, § 2.86, eff. June 14, 2005.

Sec. 551.301. DEFINITION.
Text of section as amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1242, § 2In this subchapter, "neighborhood electric vehicle" means a
vehicle subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. Section 571.500).
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, § 19.07, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1242, § 2, eff. June 18, 2005.

Sec. 551.302. REGISTRATION.
The Texas Department of Transportation may adopt rules relating to the registration and issuance of license plates to
neighborhood electric vehicles.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.303. OPERATION ON ROADWAYS.
(a) A neighborhood electric vehicle may be operated only on a street or highway for which the posted speed limit is 35 miles per
hour or less. A neighborhood electric vehicle may cross a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted
speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
(b) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of a neighborhood electric vehicle on a street or highway if the
governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(c) The Texas Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of a neighborhood electric vehicle on a highway if that
department determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.304. APPLICATION OF SUBCHAPTER TO POCKET BIKE OR MINIMOTORBIKE.
This subchapter may not be construed to authorize the operation of a pocket bike or minimotorbike on any:
(1) highway, road, or street;
(2) path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles[0]; or
(3) sidewalk.
Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 281, § 2.87, eff. June 14, 2005.
SUBCHAPTER E. MOTOR-ASSISTED SCOOTERS

Sec. 551.351. DEFINITION.
In this subchapter, "motor-assisted scooter" means a self-propelled device with:
(1) at least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation;
(2) a braking system capable of stopping the device under typical operating conditions;
(3) a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters;
(4) a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the device; and
(5) the ability to be propelled by human power alone.
Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1242, § 3, eff. June 18, 2005.

Sec. 551.352. OPERATION ON ROADWAYS OR SIDEWALKS.
(a) A motor-assisted scooter may be operated only on a street or highway for which the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or
less. The motor-assisted scooter may cross a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit
of more than 35 miles per hour.
(b) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a street, highway, or sidewalk if the
governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(c) The department may prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a highway if it determines that the prohibition is
necessary in the interest of safety.
(d) A person may operate a motor-assisted scooter on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles[0] or on a
sidewalk. Except as otherwise provided by this section, a provision of this title applicable to the operation of a bicycle[0]
applies to the operation of a motor-assisted scooter.
(e) A provision of this title applicable to a motor vehicle does not apply to a motor-assisted scooter.
Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1242, § 3, eff. June 18, 2005.

Utah

According to Utah Code (http://www.le.state.ut.us/~2002/bills/hbillamd/hb0171.pdf) (line 108) a motor-driven cycle means:

every motorcycle and motor scooter, moped, electric assisted bicycle, motor assisted scooter, and every motorized bicycle
having an engine with less than 150 cubic centimeters displacement or having a motor which produces not more than five
horsepower.

Essentially, an electric bicycle is classified as a motor vehicle.

Virginia

Some definitions in the Virginia Code [13]
"Moped" means every vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground that has (i) a seat that is
no less than 24 inches in height, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to the ground and (ii) a gasoline, electric,
or hybrid motor that displaces less than 50 cubic centimeters. For purposes of Chapter 8 (§ 46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, a
moped shall be a vehicle while operated on a highway.
"Motor-driven cycle" means every motorcycle that has a gasoline engine that (i) displaces less than 150 cubic centimeters;
(ii) has a seat less than 24 inches in height, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to the ground; and (iii) has no
manufacturer-issued vehicle identification number.
"Electric power-assisted bicycle" means a vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is
equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and (ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 1,000
watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. For the purposes of Chapter 8 of this title, an electric
power-assisted bicycle shall be a vehicle when operated on a highway.
"Bicycle" means a device propelled solely by human power, upon which a person may ride either on or astride a regular seat
attached thereto, having two or more wheels in tandem, including children's bicycles, except a toy vehicle intended for use by
young children. For purposes of Chapter 8 (§ 46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, a bicycle shall be a vehicle while operated on the
highway.
"Bicycle lane" means that portion of a roadway designated by signs and/or pavement markings for the preferential use of
bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds.
§ 46.2-800. Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, or mopeds; riding
or driving animals.
Every person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, or an
animal or driving an animal on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and shall have all of the rights and
duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, unless the context of the provision clearly indicates otherwise.
The provisions of subsections A and C of § 46.2-920 applicable to operation of emergency vehicles under emergency conditions
shall also apply, mutatis mutandis, to bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles,
and mopeds operated under similar emergency conditions by law-enforcement officers.
(Code 1950, § 46-183; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-171; 1980, c. 456; 1981, c. 585; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 176; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c.
254.)
"Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place open to the use of the public for purposes
of vehicular travel in the Commonwealth, including the streets and alleys, and, for law-enforcement purposes, (i) the entire
width between the boundary lines of all private roads or private streets that have been specifically designated "highways" by an
ordinance adopted by the governing body of the county, city, or town in which such private roads or streets are located and (ii)
the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place used for purposes of vehicular travel on any property owned,
leased, or controlled by the United States government and located in the Commonwealth.

Washington

WASHINGTON STATE LAWS Related to Electric-Assisted Bicycles As of Jan 2005
RCW 46.04.169
Electric-assisted bicycle.

"Electric-assisted bicycle" means a bicycle with two or three wheels, a saddle, fully operative pedals for human
propulsion, and an electric motor. The electric-assisted bicycle's electric motor must have a power output of no more than one
thousand watts
, be incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than twenty miles per hour on level ground,
and be incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power alone is used to propel the device beyond
twenty miles per hour
.

RCW 46.20.500
Special endorsement -- Exceptions.

(1) No person may drive either a two-wheeled or a three-wheeled motorcycle, or a motor-driven cycle unless such person has
a valid driver's license specially endorsed by the director to enable the holder to drive such vehicles.
(2) However, a person sixteen years of age or older, holding a valid driver's license of any class issued by the state of the
person's residence, may operate a moped without taking any special examination for the operation of a moped.
(3) No driver's license is required for operation of an electric-assisted bicycle if the operator is at least sixteen years of
age
. Persons under sixteen years of age may not operate an electric-assisted bicycle.
(4) No driver's license is required to operate an electric personal assistive mobility device or a power wheelchair.
(5) No driver's license is required to operate a motorized foot scooter. Motorized foot scooters may not be operated at any time
from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise without reflectors of a type approved by the state patrol.

RCW 46.37.530
Motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, mopeds, electric-assisted bicycles -- Helmets, other equipment -- Children -- Rules.

(1) It is unlawful:
For any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped on a state highway, county road, or city street
unless wearing upon his or her head a motorcycle helmet except when the vehicle is an antique motor-driven cycle or automobile
that is licensed as a motorcycle or when the vehicle is equipped with seat belts and roll bars approved by the state patrol. The
motorcycle helmet neck or chin strap must be fastened securely while the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle is in motion. Persons
operating electric-assisted bicycles shall comply with all laws and regulations related to the use of bicycle
helmets
;
(2) The state patrol may adopt and amend rules, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, concerning standards for glasses,
goggles, and face shields.

RCW 46.61.710
Mopeds, EPAMDs, electric-assisted bicycles, motorized foot scooters -- General requirements and operation.

(1) No person shall operate a moped upon the highways of this state unless the moped has been assigned a moped registration
number and displays a moped permit in accordance with the provisions of RCW 46.16.630.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a moped may not be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, equestrian
trail, or hiking or recreational trail.
(3) Operation of a moped, electric personal assistive mobility device, or an electric-assisted bicycle on a fully controlled
limited access highway is unlawful. Operation of a moped or an electric-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk is unlawful.
(4) Removal of any muffling device or pollution control device from a moped is unlawful.
(5) Subsections (1), (2), and (4) of this section do not apply to electric-assisted bicycles. Electric-assisted bicycles and
motorized foot scooters may have access to highways of the state to the same extent as bicycles. Subject to subsection (6) of
this section, electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters may be operated on a multipurpose trail or bicycle
lane
, but local jurisdictions may restrict or otherwise limit the access of electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot
scooters, and state agencies may regulate the use of motorized foot scooters on facilities and properties under their
jurisdiction and control.
(6) Subsections (1) and (4) of this section do not apply to motorized foot scooters. Subsection (2) of this section applies to
motorized foot scooters when the bicycle path, trail, bikeway, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail was built or is
maintained with federal highway transportation funds. Additionally, any new trail or bicycle path or readily identifiable
existing trail or bicycle path not built or maintained with federal highway transportation funds may be used by persons operating
motorized foot scooters only when appropriately signed.
(7) A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) shall obey all speed limits and shall yield the
right-of-way to pedestrians and human-powered devices at all times. An operator must also give an audible signal before
overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Except for the limitations of this subsection, persons operating an EPAMD have all the
rights and duties of a pedestrian.
(8) The use of an EPAMD may be regulated in the following circumstances:
(a) A municipality and the department of transportation may prohibit the operation of an EPAMD on public highways within their
respective jurisdictions where the speed limit is greater than twenty-five miles per hour;
(b) A municipality may restrict the speed of an EPAMD in locations with congested pedestrian or nonmotorized traffic and where
there is significant speed differential between pedestrians or nonmotorized traffic and EPAMD operators. The areas in this
subsection must be designated by the city engineer or designee of the municipality. Municipalities shall not restrict the speed
of an EPAMD in the entire community or in areas in which there is infrequent pedestrian traffic;
(c) A state agency or local government may regulate the operation of an EPAMD within the boundaries of any area used for
recreation, open space, habitat, trails, or conservation purposes.

European Union

Electrically-assisted cycles are usually classified as either pedelecs or e-bikes. Under European Union regulations adopted in the UK in June 2003, only power-assisted cycles meeting the pedelec
classification are considered to be pedal cycles;
The maximum power allowed in the European Union for (pedelec) electric bicycles is 250W, with a maximum assisted speed of
25km/h.EU definition for "pedelec" style electric-assist bicycle
To meet the pedelec specification the electric motor must be activated by the rider's pedalling effort and the power must cut
out completely whenever the rider stops pedalling. Control of the motor by pedalling is often the key difference between a
pedelec and e-bike.
Earlier UK regulations required that the motor has an average power output limited to 200 W (250 W for tricycles and tandems)
and weight limited to 40 kg (60 kg for tricycles and tandems). These regulations must come in-line with the EU regulations by
(find deadline).
For models sold before June 2003, e-bikes conforming to the speed, weight and power limits may also be considered pedal
cycles.
Electric bikes with higher power outputs, or those not meeting the "pedelec" definition are now treated as motorcycles and
require a license.

Finland

A bicycle can have a 250w electric motor providing the top speed is limited to 25 km/h. Also the motor can only assist as one
pedals.

Italy

See Electric Bicycle and Electric Scooter Public Charging Station (Florance Italy)

United Kingdom

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 [14] (but see also European Union)

China

See Documentary on
Electric Bicycles in China
.
The "e-bicycle" was legally recognized as a non-mechanically operated vehicle
in China. According to "TECHNOLOGY WATCH", this should help promote its
widespread use.
[15]
However, "electrically powered bicycles are no longer permitted on the
roads of the capital without a license. Beijing’s Traffic Control Department
will now impound vehicles not covered by the proper documentation."[16]

Vietnam

See video documentary on
Electric Bicycles in Vietnam

Japan


Regulations on electric bicycles in Japan

High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug In the Auto Industry A behind-the-scenes look at the robustly competitive race to dominate the market for electric cars.
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