A VERY Simple Ebike Law (Proposal)

George S.

Well-Known Member
Excerpt from Utah Senate Bill 121 (proposed 2/1/2016, Spon. Todd Weiler)


(13) "Electric assisted bicycle" means a bicycle with an electric
85 motor that:

86 (a)has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts;

87 [and]

88 (b)is not capable of:

89 (i) traveling at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on level ground when:
91 (A) powered solely by the electric motor; and
92 (B) operated by a person who weighs 170 pounds; and

93 (ii) traveling at a speed of more than 28 miles per hour on level ground when powered
96 simultaneously by the electric motor and an operator who weighs 170 pounds;


97 (c) has fully operable pedals on permanently affixed cranks; and

98...

99 (d) is fully operable as a bicycle without the use of the electric motor.


The italics are mine.

The way I see this law is simple. You can ride an ebike with a throttle at 20 mph. If you pedal and have a motor, you can go 28 mph. No need for pedal assist. No 3 classes. It says you can have 1000 watts. The bike has to be operable without a motor, with permanent pedals.

I’m guessing there is no discrimination between throttle and PAS. I’m guessing the 28 mph is mostly honor system. Please pedal when you do 21 mph or higher. I’m guessing bikes have access to bike paths, all e bikes, and you obey the speed limits.
 

Jim123

Member
George S, an improvement is if they said the bike had to be set to operate at said settings. Not "not capable of" other settings, the finality of the statement removes the versatility of the bike in different environments. The bike must be set to operate with said settings during it's use in said environments...
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
George S, an improvement is if they said the bike had to be set to operate at said settings. Not "not capable of" other settings, the finality of the statement removes the versatility of the bike in different environments. The bike must be set to operate with said settings during it's use in said environments...

Well, if you get pulled over and the bike will go 29 mph, the law is written so you know you broke it. I think this is how they write laws. If you have a bike and you know it goes 31 mph, you should know that's a bad idea. The limit is 28. It all comes down to setting up the controller. That's all anyone does. It's your decision what settings to put in the controller. We know people change console settings to get higher speeds. You have to accept the 28 mph, but that's faster than the current law which is 20 mph.

This bill is throwing out most of what California did. For the past year, Court has written about Class 1 bikes or Class 3 bikes. This bill just says "Forget that". Pedal and go 28. Use a throttle. Use a PAS. Your choice. That's what I see. It looks like they tossed out the Cal law which was supposed to be the model. Nothing has happened. It's a proposal.

I don't think people understand the Cal law and when they do, they often dislike it.
 

Cory151

Active Member
In the spirit of rebellion associated with 2 wheel motorized vehicles, I am pretty much over laws regarding e-bikes (or any fringe transpiration) for that matter. I just tune it all out and ride. First they'd have to have police actually care to enforce the law (see jaywalking), then you'd have to actually catch the person. On my juiced rider its completely possible. On the Bomber it would be almost comical.

When I was a kid in high school a few guys I new would illegally street ride 125cc dirt bikes (and snow machines in the winter), to my knowledge non were ever caught. The ability to simply rip off through the woods or a corn fields made it virtually impossible to be followed.

Beside Donald Trump personally told me he was gonna raise the national e-bike limit to 5,000 watts. ;)
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
It's all a matter of degree... If you try to take a Harley down a bike path you'll probably get caught.

When you ride an illegal bike, try not to hit anyone. Even if they are at fault. Kids in particular.
 

Jack Tyler

Active Member
I would support the proposal George outlined. But I think we may miss part of its value if we think about its enforcement in traditional terms, meaning police enforcement. My impression, from quite a bit of travel around the USA the last few years, is that the traditional traffic enforcement by county sheriff and city police departments we were accustomed to seeing two or three decades ago has been deemphasized. Yes, some of it still exists - school zone radar monitoring, the occasional egregious & visible violation by some yahoo while in the presence of a LEO - but mostly it's been replaced by realigning LEO resources to violent crime issues (and often budgetary pressures on LEO hiring due to escalating pension costs). Essentially, I think we're all pretty much on our own on city & county roads when it comes to driving a vehicle and collaborating with other drivers to make the road system work as best it can.

Now add to that trend the fact we're talking about bike riding on city streets (or less visible trails) and traditional LEO enforcement seems mostly unlikely, I would think. By contrast, I expect most e-bike riding guidelines to be 'enforced' (if that's even the right term...) by peer pressure and peer standards (e.g. bike clubs, trail maintainers who set rules for their trails, and so forth). The language George posted seems pretty workable from that perspective.
 

Greg H.

Member
California DMV laws as of 2-10-16 - attached
 

Attachments

  • #01.pdf
    157.2 KB · Views: 156
  • #02.pdf
    102.6 KB · Views: 167
  • #03.pdf
    106.2 KB · Views: 151

George S.

Well-Known Member
@Greg H.

This is what the California DMV is sending to law enforcement? It's a good summary, the 3 classes and the ban of Class 3 from bike paths. There clearly are some people trying to work entirely within this new law.
 

Jim123

Member
The PDF by Greg H. #01 has electric bike and "motorized" bike as having separate rules. Motorized bike needs no pedals, but must be electric with less than 4 horsepower and cutoff at 30 mph. The motorized bike would make a very good hill bike. Switzerland with it's mountains, chooses to have very powerful bikes allowed. I live in a valley surrounded by mountains, and feel the same way as the Swiss. Others, like the bulk of Europe or our bulletin friend "MLB" probably can't see the mountain users point of view. The terrain really makes a difference.