Pennsylvania Considers 3 Class Legislation

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Pennsylvania legislature considers the 3 Class model legislation.


Class 1 & 2 have been legal on road since 2014. Off road Class 1 were legalized on state land in 2019. County government has the authority on county land and regulations vary.
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
You know what I would prefer the proposed weight restriction over the existing Watt restriction that makes more sense, because it's 100 lbs.
An Ebike at 100 lbs is approaching the non-lifting type of Ebike anyways.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
You know what I would prefer the proposed weight restriction over the existing Watt restriction that makes more sense, because it's 100 lbs.
An Ebike at 100 lbs is approaching the non-lifting type of Ebike anyways.
The off road limit is 75 lbs.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
"The committee held a hearing on Wednesday to vet legislation that would not allow these bikes to weigh more than 100"
The 3 Class legislation in every state that adopted it only applies to on road use. Off road is not a transportation legislative issue.

State owned land is governed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.


County owned land by their respective parks departments.

The 3 Class law that's being proposed will need considerable support and could take years. The 2014 law took a full 2 year legislative session.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
So if class 3 laws only apply to roads, does that mean the local trail authority decides on class 3 use on trails? I was shocked when you said class 3 bikes are actually illegal here ... I've lived here 20 years, read up on the ebike laws for Pennsylvania and all the surrounding states, and still had it completely wrong. :mad:
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
So if class 3 laws only apply to roads, does that mean the local trail authority decides on class 3 use on trails? I was shocked when you said class 3 bikes are actually illegal here ... I've lived here 20 years, read up on the ebike laws for Pennsylvania and all the surrounding states, and still had it completely wrong. :mad:
Class 3 bikes are almost universally prohibited on trails, everywhere.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Class 3 bikes are almost universally prohibited on trails, everywhere.
Yeah, I had that much figured out, but apparently class 3 isn't even street legal in Pennsylvania, or New York state outside NYC. And that probably means I was wrong about Ohio, Maryland, etc.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
So if class 3 laws only apply to roads, does that mean the local trail authority decides on class 3 use on trails? I was shocked when you said class 3 bikes are actually illegal here ... I've lived here 20 years, read up on the ebike laws for Pennsylvania and all the surrounding states, and still had it completely wrong. :mad:
Our 2014 law predates class ratings. The law states assisted bikes are allowed to be ridden on roads and bike lanes and the power limit is 750 watts (1 horsepower). Assist can be pedal assist or throttle or both. A lot of people (including myself) thought as long as an ebike was within the power and speed limitation we were legal to ride trails, paths and park land. We were wrong.

When in 2015 the 3 Class law was proposed for the first time in California it excluded all off road venues. Trails and paths needed to be approved by local governments. It specifically states that in the law. Most every state that took up the law just copied it word for word. People for Bikes is behind the movement across the country. Some states added more restrictions, but as far as I know no state relaxed the restrictions. The law never included off road.

States that legalized ebikes for on road and bike lanes started to write formal regulations for off road. There's a long way to go. Many county governments consider their motorbike/motor vehicle laws cover ebikes. That's what happened in York County. In 2019 we were told ebikes were always illegal on county owned land.

Not to go into a year long story, we won our access for Class 1 only. It helped that the state legalized Class 1 off road on state land. Those of us that like to ride trails, rail trails, canal towpaths, fire roads weren't done any favors by the 3 Class law. It specifically excludes off road in writing. That was too big a battle for People For Bikes. Locals have to fight that.

To make a long story short, Class 3 bikes are illegal everywhere in Pennsylvania right now. If we get the 3 Class law it won't include any off road. County government is responsible for most trails unless it's a private trail. We do have at least a few privately owned rail trails. Many counties haven't passed new laws and assume ebikes are illegal off road. Some haven't taken up the issue and a few legalized them.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Our 2014 law predates class ratings. The law states assisted bikes are allowed to be ridden on roads and bike lanes and the power limit is 750 watts (1 horsepower). Assist can be pedal assist or throttle or both. A lot of people (including myself) thought as long as an ebike was within the power and speed limitation we were legal to ride trails, paths and park land. We were wrong.

When in 2015 the 3 Class law was proposed for the first time in California it excluded all off road venues. Trails and paths needed to be approved by local governments. It specifically states that in the law. Most every state that took up the law just copied it word for word. People for Bikes is behind the movement across the country. Some states added more restrictions, but as far as I know no state relaxed the restrictions. The law never included off road.

States that legalized ebikes for on road and bike lanes started to write formal regulations for off road. There's a long way to go. Many county governments consider their motorbike/motor vehicle laws cover ebikes. That's what happened in York County. In 2019 we were told ebikes were always illegal on county owned land.

Not to go into a year long story, we won our access for Class 1 only. It helped that the state legalized Class 1 off road on state land. Those of us that like to ride trails, rail trails, canal towpaths, fire roads weren't done any favors by the 3 Class law. It specifically excludes off road in writing. That was too big a battle for People For Bikes. Locals have to fight that.

To make a long story short, Class 3 bikes are illegal everywhere in Pennsylvania right now. If we get the 3 Class law it won't include any off road. County government is responsible for most trails unless it's a private trail. We do have at least a few privately owned rail trails. Many counties haven't passed new laws and assume ebikes are illegal off road. Some haven't taken up the issue and a few legalized them.
I agree with our curmudgeon's statement in post number 2 above.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
The question will be who regulates and fines?
Pennsylvania is quite competent at intrusive regulation, fines, and taxes. As are all the counties and boroughs that I am aware of. Short answer is that every d@×m one of them will see a potential revenue source. Annual inspections, liscence plates, who knows?
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Can't you just register it as a moped? Costs a whole $9. 25 mph speed limit. No insurance required.

Most states have moped laws that can be used for ebikes, and are often more permissive, provided you pay $10 or $20 and stick some tin on the back. Class 3 Laws seem mostly just a way for the US bike industry to sell motor vehicles to people without a drivers license, which seems short sighted...
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Can't you just register it as a moped? Costs a whole $9. 25 mph speed limit. No insurance required.

Most states have moped laws that can be used for ebikes, and are often more permissive, provided you pay $10 or $20 and stick some tin on the back. Class 3 Laws seem mostly just a way for the US bike industry to sell motor vehicles to people without a drivers license, which seems short sighted...
When I told my friend, a retired judge, that we bought ebikes, he commented that the only adults he knew that rode ebikes had lost their license for DWIs .
 

BlackHand

Active Member
Pennsylvania is quite competent at intrusive regulation, fines, and taxes. As are all the counties and boroughs that I am aware of. Short answer is that every d@×m one of them will see a potential revenue source. Annual inspections, liscence plates, who knows?
C'mon, the Amish have successfully fended off numerous attempts to require registration and plates for their vehicles over the years.

Maybe you can form an Amish / E-biker Alliance ;)
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
C'mon, the Amish have successfully fended off numerous attempts to require registration and plates for their vehicles over the years.

Maybe you can form an Amish / E-biker Alliance ;)
Edited to add pics. We would need to form a new fanatical religion with unusual clothing and some strange ritual practices involving ebikes ...wait a minuteB3 (1).jpgtwo-barefoot-amish-women-bikes-bird-hand-pa-september-riding-bicycles-main-road-lancaster-coun...jpg... that sounds like EBR ...
 
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