Statement Regarding Potential CPSC Ebike Law Preemption of 3-class Legislation

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
The only way the uptight trail managers will be able to limit trail access to a CPSC compliant ebike is by banning all bike access. That they will not do unless they have PROOF it's needed and rarely do they ever have data supporting positions.
You have a view of how access is handled that is untethered with reality. Truly, you would benefit greatly from some time working with actual advocacy groups. Nobody can tell land managers in local government what they have to do. They can ban all ebikes if they want, no matter what the CPSC says.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You have a view of how access is handled that is untethered with reality. Truly, you would benefit greatly from some time working with actual advocacy groups. Nobody can tell land managers in local government what they have to do. They can ban all ebikes if they want, no matter what the CPSC says.
I sometimes wonder if people do this intentionally or just fail to clearly comprehend what other's write. Obviously trail access is not one of my main concerns because I see virtually zero chance a preemption results in any loss of trail access. I guess what I'm trying to say is that those worried about trail access are driving a false hysteria.

Do we want trail access to set the baseline for how an ebike is defined/designed/sold or should we focus more on the bigger picture potential of ebikes as defined by the federal definition (has a lot of legacy given getting close to 20 years as policy). Regardless of how low we set the speed bar on assist rider behavior is going to matter more on multi-use trails and paths.

I never said anyone can tell land managers what to do but that would not stop people from going nuts on them if they decided to ban all bike access to trails just arbitrarily. It is my opinion that they can't ban ebikes separately from bikes per the original intent of HR727 (keep in mind that was passed as a congressional law, not just a position or jurisdiction statement). A few have mentioned this as the confusing element of HR727 when it states a compliant "low speed electric bike" is not a motorized vehicle - it has a motor but as defined it should not be considered motorized, yet I hear time and time again the claim from the trail groups that they are motorized vehicles. They want to retain their view that they are just like throttle motorcycles running around tearing up the trails and scaring children and pets. Is that really happening with any compliant ebikes on any trail? Again has anyone seen and data proving that a view like that is remotely justified.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ebikes/throttle mopeds are banned on some local trails with the verbiage "no motorized conveyances".
OK. I fully understand that some trails are banning ebike access by claiming that they are motor vehicles. My view is that that is in conflict with HR727 stating they are not to be considered motor vehicles but there is some merit to the claim that is just to ensure NHTSA doesn't have definition/safety control of them. In my opinion if a statute states that a "low speed electric bicycle" is not a motor vehicle and is regulated as just a bike these local ordinances can not redefine as a motor vehicle to deny access. Until there is a precedence case, we can all have an opinion that really can't be considered proven/fact.
 
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antboy

Well-Known Member
Without the class 3 system, ebikes could be conflated with mopeds and subjected to the same requirement (since reaching 30+ mph is doable with 750w assist). Given 51+ sets of lawmakers, some might have chosen to impose more requirements.
It reads like you don't realize the CPSC definition exists... how could one conflate an e-bike with a moped?

“(1) a two-wheeled vehicle having a rear drive wheel that is solely human-powered or (2) a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph (i.e., a low-speed electric bicycle).”

It's pretty clearly spelled out. Unlike a moped, under the CPSC definition an e-bike REQUIRES human input to surpass 20mph. Though there are state variances, mopeds are generally capped at 50cc or about 2.5-3hp (which would roughly be a 1500W e-bike motor), with a 30mph throttle limit.

Personally, I think requiring a driver or motorcycle license and setting an 80-100 lb vehicle weight limit alongside a 30 mph speed limit and throttle optional would have made more sense, instead of 28, no throttle, no license requirement.
Wait, what? Sounds like you're conflating e-bikes with mopeds. A 30mph throttle IS a moped definition in most states. Nothing is stopping you from getting a moped. :)
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
It reads like you don't realize the CPSC definition exists... how could one conflate an e-bike with a moped?
Washington DC regulates Class 3s as mopeds. Perhaps other states. Why don't you ask DC how they conflate the two and get back to us? PS @Ken M , if the CPSC law failed in the very seat of the federal government, ie DC doesn't regulate class 3s like regular bikes, what hope does the rest of the country have? Again, the CPSC is a joke, as far as ebikes go.

You missed the point of what I was saying - that you need ebike specific laws so they don't get regulated like a moped. That's what the class laws are for.

"A 30mph throttle IS a moped definition in most states. Nothing is stopping you from getting a moped. :)"
Those mopeds are heavy and ICE. Thus rules specific to electric, low weight vehicles. 🤯🤯🤯
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Washington DC regulates Class 3s as mopeds. Perhaps other states. Why don't you ask DC how they conflate the two and get back to us? PS @Ken M , if the CPSC law failed in the very seat of the federal government, ie DC doesn't regulate class 3s like regular bikes, what hope does the rest of the country have?

"A 30mph throttle IS a moped definition in most states. Nothing is stopping you from getting a moped. :)"
Those mopeds are heavy and ICE. Thus rules specific to electric, low weight vehicles. 🤯🤯🤯
So if you're pulling the local laws for ONE jurisdiction to prove a point, should I pull one that contradicts theirs in an endless tit for tat? Sounds counterproductive.
You missed the point of what I was saying - that you need ebike specific laws so they don't get regulated like a moped. That's what the class laws are for.
I don't understand, are you thinking I'm saying there SHOULDN'T be e-bike specific laws?
Again, the CPSC is a joke, as far as ebikes go.
As opposed to your suggested idea for licenses? Your earlier preference...
Personally, I think requiring a driver or motorcycle license and setting an 80-100 lb vehicle weight limit alongside a 30 mph speed limit and throttle optional would have made more sense,
is essentially describing a lightweight electric moped that is FASTER than the vaunted class 3 under PfB's system, and not be classified as bikes at all.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
So if you're pulling the local laws for ONE jurisdiction to prove a point, should I pull one that contradicts theirs in an endless tit for tat? Sounds counterproductive.

I don't understand, are you thinking I'm saying there SHOULDN'T be e-bike specific laws?

As opposed to your suggested idea for licenses? Your earlier preference...

is essentially describing a lightweight electric moped that is FASTER than the vaunted class 3 under PfB's system, and not be classified as bikes at all.
The CPSC did and does nothing here, so it's on the bike lobby/advocates to step in. That's not a failure of one jurisdiction, it's a failure of the CPSC everywhere. Find me a single state or city where the CPSC stepped in and defeated restrictive ebike regulations. I'll be waiting a long time... A regulation on the books is meaningless without enforcement, and enforcement is often absent.

Yes, I would have chosen a slightly higher speed limit for class 3s, because 28 is a weird foreign number chosen to harmonize with Euro law. It's not a big deal ultimately. The higher limit however would come with more responsibility, ie low vehicle weight and drivers license required. I don't want 28 mph cargo bikes in bike lanes.
 
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PM Cycles

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The CPSC did and does nothing here, so it's on the bike lobby/advocates to step in. That's not a failure of one jurisdiction, it's a failure of the CPSC everywhere. Find me a single state or city where the CPSC stepped in and defeated restrictive ebike regulations. I'll be waiting a long time... A regulation on the books is meaningless without enforcement, and enforcement is often absent.

Yes, I would have chosen a slightly higher speed limit for class 3s, because 28 is a weird foreign number chosen to harmonize with Euro law. It's not a big deal ultimately. The higher limit however would come with more responsibility, ie low vehicle weight and drivers license required. I don't want 28 mph cargo bikes in bike lanes.
"bike lobby/advocates"
Do you mean a privately funded industry organisation, that's not democratically elected, paying themselves $150,000 plus in industry money from companies that are in competition with E-Bike technology? Is that what you mean?
 

PM Cycles

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False. Blumenauer is (still) a sponsor.

Also false, about insurance: the 3 class system has created a lot of momentum against insurance requirements.

Without the class 3 system, ebikes could be conflated with mopeds and subjected to the same requirement (since reaching 30+ mph is doable with 750w assist). Given 51+ sets of lawmakers, some might have chosen to impose more requirements. (Personally, I think requiring a driver or motorcycle license and setting an 80-100 lb vehicle weight limit alongside a 30 mph speed limit and throttle optional would have made more sense, instead of 28, no throttle, no license requirement.)

It was delayed for a reason. Why would he sponsor a bill that had wording that didn't quality his own state??? I have the original version, and when the bill is tabled again, you will have seen the change.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
These are state's rights issues. The Supreme Court almost always sides with the states rights for use regulations. The last thing any of us would want is a bunch of beurocrats in DC to control bike paths and trails in our own back yards. Picking one state like Oregon and saying they don't have a problem is silly. Oregonians are regulating Oregonians. As it should be. States with the 3 Class law can say the same.

There's an assumption here that the states that do not currently have the 3 class law would be okay with the CPSC controlling all this. Those state's AG will also sign onto any state's rights law suit in federal court. No state in the country will want to give up regulatory control of their own property. None. Read some of the Supreme Court's rulings on use regulations and state's rights.

This is not a transportation issue; the CPSC overstepped their authority when they took this issue from the USDOT. Even if it was a transportation issue, state and local governments have regulatory use control of state, county and township road use. They set the speed, weight, access, noise and every other issue. The Feds have nothing to do with it, other than to say what a safe vehicle is. Even then local governments can grant exceptions. I live in rural farm country and I see farm trucks and trailers more than 50 years old. They would never pass federal regs to be road worthy, some don't even have seatbelts. There they are, tagged and registered on the road.

I don't care about the few diehards proposing this; I care about the newcomers to ebikes. I care about land managers and regulators that research the issue and stumble across these forums. I've had to answer a lot of questions from regulators about illegal ebikes and how they are used.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Washington DC regulates Class 3s as mopeds. Perhaps other states. Why don't you ask DC how they conflate the two and get back to us? PS @Ken M , if the CPSC law failed in the very seat of the federal government, ie DC doesn't regulate class 3s like regular bikes, what hope does the rest of the country have? Again, the CPSC is a joke, as far as ebikes go.

You missed the point of what I was saying - that you need ebike specific laws so they don't get regulated like a moped. That's what the class laws are for.

"A 30mph throttle IS a moped definition in most states. Nothing is stopping you from getting a moped. :)"
Those mopeds are heavy and ICE. Thus rules specific to electric, low weight vehicles. 🤯🤯🤯
As someone who lives in the DC area, I think part of the issue is that DC was ahead of the curve on ebike access (which makes sense since they function as a pseudo state but are an entirely urban jurisdiction) and at the time neighboring jurisdictions (MD and VA) had not adopted the 3 class system and had regs that were uncomfortable to DC, so DC kinda made up their own.

For a long time VA was just 1000w/25mph without classes with no mention of throttle, which is why a lot of local VA regs look weird; they didn't want to use the VA definition because they didn't want throttle bikes and/or felt 25mph was too fast, so they also kinda made up their own. I'll be interested to see if some of the local orgs harmonize with the updated 3-class VA regs going forward. Some of the county people seem to have just used the class 1 description anyway, so they probably saw the writing on the wall.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
I don't care about the few diehards proposing this; I care about the newcomers to ebikes. I care about land managers and regulators that research the issue and stumble across these forums. I've had to answer a lot of questions from regulators about illegal ebikes and how they are used.
Yeah, I'm told a sticking point with emtb access is often land managers seeing a lot of "nobody will be able to stop me from riding my 2000w diy bike on the trails!" slash "I hack my bike to defeat the speed limiter!" talk on forums. Land managers aren't stupid, they do read this stuff when considering access.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
As someone who lives in the DC area, I think part of the issue is that DC was ahead of the curve on ebike access (which makes sense since they function as a pseudo state but are an entirely urban jurisdiction) and at the time neighboring jurisdictions (MD and VA) had not adopted the 3 class system and had regs that were uncomfortable to DC, so DC kinda made up their own.

For a long time VA was just 1000w/25mph without classes with no mention of throttle, which is why a lot of local VA regs look weird; they didn't want to use the VA definition because they didn't want throttle bikes and/or felt 25mph was too fast, so they also kinda made up their own. I'll be interested to see if some of the local orgs harmonize with the updated 3-class VA regs going forward. Some of the county people seem to have just used the class 1 description anyway, so they probably saw the writing on the wall.
ICYMI, DC embraced Class 1 and 2 regulations, but postponed doing anything about class 3 ebikes, which currently must be registered like a moped. But with MD and VA on board, it seems like a matter of time.
 

PM Cycles

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You have a view of how access is handled that is untethered with reality. Truly, you would benefit greatly from some time working with actual advocacy groups. Nobody can tell land managers in local government what they have to do. They can ban all ebikes if they want, no matter what the CPSC says.
Again, this is not about trail access. A Bike = E-Bike. They would have to ban ALL bikes. Your argument is ridiculous. The DOI has already ruled on this. You know this and are being disingenuous as usual.
 

PM Cycles

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Yes, since no one else stepped up. Lol


Lol do I believe the website of Congress or some random guy on the internet, about a bill in Congress...
So much for being civil! That meme pretty much sums up all your guys arguments! Thanks for insulting yourself!
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Washington DC regulates Class 3s as mopeds. Perhaps other states. Why don't you ask DC how they conflate the two and get back to us? PS @Ken M , if the CPSC law failed in the very seat of the federal government, ie DC doesn't regulate class 3s like regular bikes, what hope does the rest of the country have? Again, the CPSC is a joke, as far as ebikes go.

You missed the point of what I was saying - that you need ebike specific laws so they don't get regulated like a moped. That's what the class laws are for.

"A 30mph throttle IS a moped definition in most states. Nothing is stopping you from getting a moped. :)"
Those mopeds are heavy and ICE. Thus rules specific to electric, low weight vehicles. 🤯🤯🤯
DC regulates ebike per the federal definition (motor power only limited to 20mph but human and motor can provide a bit more speed). Please stop injecting false claims. Mopeds can go to 30mph motor alone. This is very very simple to understand.

Have you yet to even read the federal / CPSC definition. That was intended to be the regulation for "low speed electric bicycle" as a bike and states were supposed to "use" regulate as a bike. So so simple and it's how states like Oregon have regulated both product compliance and "use" since 1997.
 

PM Cycles

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ICYMI, DC embraced Class 1 and 2 regulations, but postponed doing anything about class 3 ebikes, which currently must be registered like a moped. But with MD and VA on board, it seems like a matter of time.
So more evidence that the 3-Class has just created confusion in interstate commerce? That makes 6 different standards now. I'm sure the industry and manufacturers love that. Thanks for adding to the argument. Keep licking Asher.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Yes, since no one else stepped up. Lol


Lol do I believe the website of Congress or some random guy on the internet, about a bill in Congress...
Since no one stepped up???? The federal definition for "low speed electric bicycle" was adopted in 2002 and I believe bikes were one of the very first products safety regulated by the CPSC.

I think half the people in this thread can't separate in the their mind what the difference between a product definition is and what "use" regulations are. The CPSC is supposed to regulate the product compliance for 1st sale and the states should just take that product and decide how to "use" regulate it (that includes say traffic law for bikes and wearing helmets, not redefining the product such that 1st sale / interstate commerce is impacted).

Somehow many seem to think the classes were needed for "use" regulation which is what they have been spoon fed by PFB but 3-class clearly impacts interstate commerce which is a bit more important than how some landmanager may feel about a throttle on a 20mph motor alone capability ebike.