What Are Electric Bike Classes and Why Do They Matter?

AGuy

New Member
Cars can go much faster than speed limits yet they have to slow down if the speed is limited no matter how fast the car can go. They have to respect and self-regulate or pay the consequences if caught. Why can't bikes be the same?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Cars can go much faster than speed limits yet they have to slow down if the speed is limited no matter how fast the car can go. They have to respect and self-regulate or pay the consequences if caught. Why can't bikes be the same?
Mostly because there is no speed enforcement or even the threat of speed enforcement for bikes on paths, trails and bike lanes. And nobody wants to pay for that either. If there wasn't the fear of fines and points for speeding in a car, the roadways would be more dangerous than they are.

It would be great if speed limits worked for bikes and we could do away with classes and all that mess, but the limits we have now don't work. It costs a municipality a couple hundred dollars to install 1 speed limit sign. Multi use paths often post speed limits at trailheads on information boards. The most common speed limit is 15 mph, I've seen limits as low as 9 mph on urban paths. People don't see it or just disregard it. I don't think anyone would be happy with 9 to 15 mph limits on all cycling infrastructure. Those are the limits we would get. Think of the automobile limit of 15 mph in school zones. That's what you get when there are a lot of kids, pedestrians and pets. We have big county parks with roadways and a posted speed limit of 15 mph. That's what we would get on cycling infrastructure and I think an enforced limit of 15 mph would anger and frustrate more people than the classes do now.

Just my opinion, but I'd rather spend money on more miles of paths and trails than speed enforcement.
 

AGuy

New Member
Mostly because there is no speed enforcement or even the threat of speed enforcement for bikes on paths, trails and bike lanes. And nobody wants to pay for that either. If there wasn't the fear of fines and points for speeding in a car, the roadways would be more dangerous than they are.

It would be great if speed limits worked for bikes and we could do away with classes and all that mess, but the limits we have now don't work. It costs a municipality a couple hundred dollars to install 1 speed limit sign. Multi use paths often post speed limits at trailheads on information boards. The most common speed limit is 15 mph, I've seen limits as low as 9 mph on urban paths. People don't see it or just disregard it. I don't think anyone would be happy with 9 to 15 mph limits on all cycling infrastructure. Those are the limits we would get. Think of the automobile limit of 15 mph in school zones. That's what you get when there are a lot of kids, pedestrians and pets. We have big county parks with roadways and a posted speed limit of 15 mph. That's what we would get on cycling infrastructure and I think an enforced limit of 15 mph would anger and frustrate more people than the classes do now.

Just my opinion, but I'd rather spend money on more miles of paths and trails than speed enforcement.
The argument seems to be that we cannot trust people to respect the speed limit without enforcement. Can we trust people to respect bicycle class classification? Same problem if you are only looking at the % of people who won't follow the rules. But maybe you are pointing out to a deeper problem which is we don't trust that when given the option, someone's would choose to do the right thing or follow common sense. I am not criticizing you by any means, I am just saying that it's perhaps a problem of education or perception. It's interesting.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
The argument seems to be that we cannot trust people to respect the speed limit without enforcement. Can we trust people to respect bicycle class classification? Same problem if you are only looking at the % of people who won't follow the rules. But maybe you are pointing out to a deeper problem which is we don't trust that when given the option, someone's would choose to do the right thing or follow common sense. I am not criticizing you by any means, I am just saying that it's perhaps a problem of education or perception. It's interesting.
I think most people ride respectfully. Most bike paths and trails are enter and use at your own risk. Meaning as long as the local government/authority takes reasonable measures to safeguard the public, they can't be sued. Insurance would be astronomically high if authorities had to take every step necessary to make everyone safe in all circumstances. Part of those reasonable measures are to keep ebikes at bike speeds when they mix with other bicycles, pedestrians, children and pets on infrastructure designed for slow speeds. Most multi use paths are designed for 15 mph.

No criticism taken and none offered by be either. Just a respectful conversation. There's no comparison to be made with cars or motorcycles. Bikes and ebikes do not have to follow DOT regs and I don't think we want them to. They don't have the kind of braking or lights, they don't have the same level of safety equipment. I think the minute we want the same freedom as automobiles have for power and speed, we have to accept all the same regulations and responsibilities. License, registration, insurance, inspection and enforcement.

Ebikes are getting very popular. I see you're in PA. The regulations we have in PA are pretty good in comparison to other states. We've made a lot of progress since 2014.

Thread 'Pennsylvania eBike Regulations *Incl. eMTB' https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/pennsylvania-ebike-regulations-incl-emtb.29213/

Thread 'York County,Pa. USA YCP Bans all ebikes on local rail trail' https://electricbikereview.com/foru...cp-bans-all-ebikes-on-local-rail-trail.27968/

Thread 'Pennsylvania Considers 3 Class Legislation' https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/pennsylvania-considers-3-class-legislation.36203/

I'm not sure where in PA you are, maybe you can make a meetup in 2021. Welcome to the forum.

Thread 'Pennsylvania Rides | Meetups | Pennsylvania Riders' https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/pennsylvania-rides-meetups-pennsylvania-riders.36075/