How Do You Get Decent Regulations?

George S.

Well-Known Member
This is an excerpt from an essay by Steven Hansen:

But the electric bike industry is following the traditional, difficult and time consuming approach. Let consumers buy the products and once a critical mass of the devises is in use there will be legislative “fixes” to accommodate the safe use of mainstream devices. The problem of course is that this is a car centric country, where drivers don’t like bikes of any kind on “their” roads, and many state legislators don’t really like Washington DC’s approach to anything. This was clear in the comments from states to NHTSA’s proposed regulation in 2005. Hopefully this method will work as it may be too late for the “pave the way with legislation first” method. The EU also tried to get a regulatory framework in place before the market was flooded with various devices and in some respects it worked as the EU market is much larger than the US market right now for electric bikes. There are other reasons as well.

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/opin...n-over-electric-bike-regulations#.VHsivjHF-KQ

There are a lot of issues, because the Federal (US) law doesn't resolve much of anything. Electric bikes are still motorized, and that creates problems. They are vehicles, and they are motorized. To argue they are not motor vehicles is hard to do. People want more speed, they want scooters, they want to ride on bike trails on BLM or NPS land. Training? Licensing? Registration? Insurance?

It's a pretty messy strategy to sell ebikes and send the proud new owners 'out there', to try to make it work within the legal system.
 

calvin

Active Member
States have the right to pass laws concerning transportation. So every state has different ebike laws. Bummer.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Here's a summary of state laws:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws

I live in Utah and an electric bike is a motor vehicle and requires a drivers license, but not a motorcycle endorsement. They might have tweaked something last year. That's a long way from saying it is a bike.

I grew up in Arizona and their rules make sense, to me.
 

calvin

Active Member
I read the article, most countries have crippled electric bikes to the point of not being usable for overweight riders or towing, 250 watts is not much of a motor. Every state or province being allowed to formulate restrictive laws as they see fit must drive the manufacturers crazy.