Anyone been "busted" riding a Class 3 bike?

So any unauthorized Class 3 riders getting hassled?

  • Yes I've been stopped for riding a Class 3 bike

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No I've never been stopped because I rode a Class 3 bike

    Votes: 21 100.0%
  • I was stopped AND ticketed

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    21

AzDave

Member
Region
USA
So all this 'Class 3 isn't allowed in my state or country"...So what if you do? Are these laws taken seriously? And what's the penalties that have been enforced about it? Yeah Class 3 probably won't be sold "above board" in states that don't allow it...doesn't mean people still aren't riding them or destricting the ones that are Class one. Just curious...
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Stupid rule with little enforcement in my experience.
 

Widgets

Member
Region
USA
City
Tampa, FL
So all this 'Class 3 isn't allowed in my state or country"...So what if you do? Are these laws taken seriously? And what's the penalties that have been enforced about it? Yeah Class 3 probably won't be sold "above board" in states that don't allow it...doesn't mean people still aren't riding them or destricting the ones that are Class one. Just curious...

To be clear. Class 3 ebikes are legal in all states in the US. There may be restrictions on where they can be used. In some states like FL they are considered low speed ebikes and are treated like every other bicycle. The may be local restrictions, but none on the state level. Other states may be different. One thing in common is that they can be ridden on private property, just like an unregistered off-road motorcycles.

The enforcement is so weak here that in the last week I saw an unregistered motorcycle riding on the MUT where motor vehicles are forbidden.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Essentially no enforcement on public streets in the USA with the exception of NYC. The most likely place where a bike would be checked is on federal land by a ranger, where there is a lot more attention being paid to ebikes vs. bikes.
 

timacn

Member
Essentially no enforcement on public streets in the USA with the exception of NYC. The most likely place where a bike would be checked is on federal land by a ranger, where there is a lot more attention being paid to ebikes vs. bikes.
This discussion gets right to the heart of several questions I have on this subject. I have seen Class 3 ebikes sold in stores in my home state of Pennsylvania where I think it's unlawful drive them on the roads or on bike trails. I have read, (on this site) but cannot confirm, that hefty fines were assessed on The Heritage Trail in York County, but I do not know if those alleged fines were charged because an ebike was used on the trail or specifically because a Class 3 Ebike was used on the trail. I have also read (on this site) that authorities (rangers or policemen or Game Commission officers, not sure) have interviewed ebike riders on The Susquehanna River Trail (from Columbia, PA to Bainbridge, PA). Somebody allegedly killed a copperhead snake on the trail and this precipitated the scrutiny. As I have stated on other threads on this site, I can understand speed limits for ebikes in certain situations, but I am not a fan of prior restraint. If you don't want riders to go over 20 mph, give the authorities radar guns and ticket the violators. But don't ban all Class 3 Ebikes because somebody might use one unlawfully or irresponsibly.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
And on and on and on................... https://electricbikereview.com/foru...ike-or-ticketing-you.40954/page-4#post-404392
 

timacn

Member
Hey Rich. Yup. It is ongoing. Serious cognitive dissonance. Bike shops are selling Class 3 Ebikes in states where you can't lawfully ride them. It makes no sense and there is no resolution to the central questions. The choices in many states (including mine, Pennsylvania) seem to be: Don't ride an Ebike, Don't ride a Class 3 Ebike (at least on non private land), or Ignore the laws. Of course, the 3rd choice is unlawful and not advisable for a variety of good reasons. So the whole dilemma is like a bad splinter that you can't remove or a problem with no solution, at least at present.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This has even spread to the EU, where ebikes are without question outputting well past the 250w limit, enforcement in some jurisdictions is quite strict (utterly ridiculous by our standards) and manufacturers are skating around the regs by ending all publication of '250w' and instead quoting torque output numbers. Here in the US, what was once a wink at peak output kinda sorta maybe exceeding the 749w limit - a silent wink - is now open acknowledgment that a motor has nominal output of '750w' (which itself is a violation of the legal standard since the rule is 'less than 750w') and even written acknowledgement that it has about a 1000w peak (volts x amps = watts and a 48v bike with a common controller and a full charge is peaking well into 1000w territory).

So whats happening here? If regulators ever pull their heads out of their ases and actually write rules that fit what ebike output is, then by the time they do this the market will be utterly flooded with bikes that are not compliant with current regs (newsflash... this has already happened). Regulators will essentially have no choice but to follow the de facto standard enforced by the market. The alternative is to stick to the rules (which the market acknowledges provide insufficient assist) and junk literally hundreds of millions of expensive bikes, which the public simply will not stand for.

Are we a nation of laws? Should market reality matter? Irrelevant. The horse is out of the barn.

Ride intelligently. I ride a Class 3 on shared use trails when I need to and don't give it a second thought. And its not a Class 3 it has a throttle. I pedal. I am limited to a 20 mph speed by law but 10 mph is usually too much when sharing the path with pedestrians. Use your brain, don't ride like a jerk ... and limit your risk. I won't be gunning a throttle ebike in NYC anytime soon.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Hey Rich. Yup. It is ongoing. Serious cognitive dissonance. Bike shops are selling Class 3 Ebikes in states where you can't lawfully ride them. It makes no sense and there is no resolution to the central questions. The choices in many states (including mine, Pennsylvania) seem to be: Don't ride an Ebike, Don't ride a Class 3 Ebike (at least on non private land), or Ignore the laws. Of course, the 3rd choice is unlawful and not advisable for a variety of good reasons. So the whole dilemma is like a bad splinter that you can't remove or a problem with no solution, at least at present.
I just don't see the point of endless discussions and polls asking about it. We are eBike riders. We don't set laws and ordinances. It's shown over and over and over that enforcement is an extremely rare situation. If you are seriously interested in abiding the law, then any discussion means nothing too, only buy a class 1 bicycle. They aren't hard to find. I'm also keenly aware that the same goes for reading another poll and comments about class 3 enforcement and will take appropriate action to either ignore the poster or ignore after reading the title.
 

Seaway

Member
Region
USA
I ride in and around Washington, DC and points west and north. I simply can't imagine anyone caring enough about my bicycle to stop me and question it's legality.
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
Bike shops are selling Class 3 Ebikes in states where you can't lawfully ride them.
Is this true?! I thought bike shops had to sale ebikes that were street legal?

Now I'll need to go see what my state says about ebikes. I wish they would just make all class 1 and 3 legal, nationally.
 

Widgets

Member
Region
USA
City
Tampa, FL
I wish they would just make all class 1 and 3 legal, nationally.
That is what we had with the national Low Speed Electric Bicycle (LSEB) laws, treating them the same as bikes. But folks with high speed electric motorcycles started abusing the bike trails, and the trail managers started banning ebikes. Rather than education and enforcement of the existing laws, we got the 3 class system as a way to restore our trail access. What we ended up was even more restrictions as they typically only restored class 1. This is typical when you let politicians and lobbyists "solve" problems that don't really exist.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
I stopped to talk with a county official overseeing the repair work being done on the S. County trail in Westchester NY. In the middle of our half hour conversation he mention that my ebike should not be riden on the trail as all motor vehicles are prohibited. I replied yeah I guess, and that was the end of that part of our discussion.
For full understanding, the sign has been up prohibiting motor vehicles for 30 years+ and doesn't specifically address the introduction of ebikes since.
 

Seaway

Member
Region
USA
I stopped to talk with a county official overseeing the repair work being done on the S. County trail in Westchester NY. In the middle of our half hour conversation he mention that my ebike should not be riden on the trail as all motor vehicles are prohibited. I replied yeah I guess, and that was the end of that part of our discussion.
For full understanding, the sign has been up prohibiting motor vehicles for 30 years+ and doesn't specifically address the introduction of ebikes since.
Ebikes are specifically excluded from the definition of a motorized vehicle in the state of New York.

"E-bikes have the same rights and duties as pedal-bike riders, and e-bikes are excluded from the definition of motor vehicle. E-bikes can be ridden on roads with speed limits of 30 mph or less, including bike lanes, and e-bikes might be able to ride on some bike paths that are connected with or adjacent to roads."


The information is available, it's just that nobody seems interested in looking for it.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Ebikes are specifically excluded from the definition of a motorized vehicle in the state of New York.

"E-bikes have the same rights and duties as pedal-bike riders, and e-bikes are excluded from the definition of motor vehicle. E-bikes can be ridden on roads with speed limits of 30 mph or less, including bike lanes, and e-bikes might be able to ride on some bike paths that are connected with or adjacent to roads."


The information is available, it's just that nobody seems interested in looking for it.
I didn't comment on whether or not I had a right to be there. The OP asked about experiences and I told an account of what happened to me personally. Like I said the sign is 30+ years old and I see no reason to worry about it at this point.
 

BrianK

Well-Known Member
I just posted a related thread. This is a serious question. By law, I’m not permitted to ride a national park bike path in Maryland because mine is a class 3, but I need the throttle assist due to disability to ride a bike:
Hi folks,
I’m planning to drive out to the C&O tow path bike trail in Maryland. Online, Maryland states this bike path is limited to class 1 e bikes with no throttle.

My e bike is a class 3 with throttle, which I need to get moving due to chronic weakness in my left leg from strokes several years ago. I do wear a brace on my left lower leg, and I can take my handicapped parking placard with me to verify that despite being able to ride an e bike, I do indeed have a permanent disability.

Two questions:
1) is anybody aware whether Maryland actually enforces their class 1 e bike regulations on the bike paths?
2) what’s the chances that if they do, they’d actually accept my circumstances as an exception to this regulation if they do stop me?
 
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