People for Bikes: Progress on Ebike Laws in the US

Discussion in 'Electric Bike Laws, Resources' started by Court, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    People for Bikes started in 1999 as Bikes Belong. It has grown to include a coalition of suppliers and retailers and also houses a charitable foundation. It advocates for cycling on a national level in the USA, supporting local efforts through financial, community and communication resources. They have a great page which shows progress on ebike laws (screenshot below) and links to many of the laws and legislation:

    J.R. and Tara D. like this.

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  3. J.R.

    J.R. Well-Known Member

    People For eBikes Too!

    I recieved an email from PFB and apparently Ward and June Cleaver are talking about bikes!


    June was telling Ward all about ebikes too!

    Where did they dig up that Clipart? PFB has been a supporter of ebikes for a long time. About the same time I found EBR, I had heard that People For Bikes was doing there best to inform people here in Pennsylvania about the proposed legislation to legalize ebikes. That was more than two and a half years ago and since October 2014 ebikes have been legal here in PA.

    The US isn't where we should be according the map. Very disappointing to see just how far we have to go.


    People For Bikes doesn't cost a penny to join and has never once sold, given away or shared my email address. I get one email per month, packed with news and information.

    Sign up today!
  4. Nutella

    Nutella Member

    They are funded by the bike industry, it's great to see the guys that sell the bikes pushing to gain more access for us. Win Win
  5. bob armani

    bob armani Member

  6. J.R.

    J.R. Well-Known Member

    @bob armani

    No is the short answer to your question. HR 727 is a consumer law legalizing ebikes to be sold as bicycles and not motorized vehicles in the US. For the purpose you want (if necessary?), you would want state and local laws. That's what determines if your ebike is legal and that you're allowed to ride where you are riding.
    Ann M. likes this.
  7. Ann M.

    Ann M. Administrator

    @bob armani, search within your state's transportation code, that's where you will find the legal definition and rules governing electric bikes. J.R.'s right- although the federal law should supersede any state code, there are provisions that allow local entities like cities and park departments to have their own variations of the laws.
  8. bob armani

    bob armani Member

    Thanks Ann for the info! This is beginning to become more confusing than I ever anticipated. I live in Chicago and the FPD regulations seem pretty stringent being when you ride a extended bike path of approx 20 miles, you are passing through various parks and forest preserve districts that govern the rules posted on the bike path/trail signs. However, I have a relative in Minnesota, and the code clearly stipulates that ebikes are allowed on all posted bike paths and trails. Unfortunately, the Chicago code is more strict. I am hoping legislation changes the rules for ebike commuters. I would hate to be caught up in the bureaucracy over an ebike. :(
  9. J.R.

    J.R. Well-Known Member

    Bob, I haven't looked into laws for Illinois, it would be helpful if the state has specific ebike laws, stating ebikes within certain specifications are classified as bicycles. Where I live, to be a bicycle it must be under 1 horsepower (~750 watts). The local governments have fallen in line with that since our ebike law took affect in 2014. Since ebikes are classified as bicycles, the signs reading "No Motorized Vehicles", do not apply. Hopefully that's the case for you as well. Good luck!
  10. bob armani

    bob armani Member

    Thanks JR! I have written to the SO-IL DOT website posing the question so I can get something in writing, but no response. Ihave aslo asked a County sheriff near the bike paths and he indicated that in fact you could receive a violation for a class 1 PAS ebike if ridden on the bike path.
    It is however that the No Motorized Vehicles sign posted may not apply. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed. LOL ;)
    J.R. likes this.
  11. obee

    obee New Member

    The parks systems here in Ohio (Stark and Summit Counties that I know of) officially prohibit even electric assist bicycles that look like bicycles. Someone needs to challenge, and get legal clarity on the use of e-bikes nationwide so they have the same status as any bicycle. I'm looking for activist attorneys (any State) willing to assist me on this.

  12. obee

    obee New Member <<< the state of ohio does not legally define ebikes. Therefore an ebike is a bicycle that can go anywhere bikes go? How would one challenge an Ohio sub-park rule prohibiting any electric assisted bicycle? Get a ticket for the violation, take it to municipal, common pleas or administrative court? ....and hope to get a final answer at the appellate or supreme court?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
    Chris Nolte likes this.
  13. Chris Nolte

    Chris Nolte Well-Known Member

    I did something similar to this in NYC. With a court decision you have a legal precedent. It was a little easier because we had a law and I just needed to prove that it doesn't apply to pedal assist bikes. Fortunately we did
    Matt A likes this.
  14. Alan Acock

    Alan Acock New Member

    I worry about restricting ebikes that have a top assisted level of 28 mph. It makes sense to restrict bike speed on many paths, say 15 mph. If they do this, then they don't need to restrict ebikes that have a top assisted level of 28 mph.

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