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  1. #1
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    FAQ: eBike laws and regulations

    Most e-Bike laws and regulations are similar all over the world with a few differences. Post the specifics in you area if you wish.

    I'll get things started;

    ONTARIO, CANADA

    Effective October 3, 2006, the Province of Ontario began a three-year pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles (also known as electric bikes or e-bikes) on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are currently allowed. The pilot is opened to all Ontarians 16 years of age and older and will run for three years. For the duration of the pilot, electric bicycles will be treated as bicycles and must follow the same rules of the road as set out in the Highway Traffic Act that currently apply to cyclists.
    There are two exceptions:
    • Operators must be 16 years of age or older, and
    • All operators must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.
    SAMPLE LABEL:
    THIS VEHICLE IS A POWER
    ASSISTED BICYCLE AND
    MEETS ALL THE
    REQUIREMENTS UNDER
    SECTION 2(1) OF THE
    CANADA MOTOR VEHICLE
    SAFETY REGULATIONS.


    CE VÉHICULE EST UNE BICYCLETTE
    ASSISTÉE ET RECONTRE LA NORME 2(1)
    DU RÈGLEMENT SUR LA SÉCURITÉ
    DES VÉHICULES AUTOMOBILES DU CANADA.
    During the pilot:
    • No driver's licence is required,
    • No written test is required,
    • No vehicle registration or plate required,
    • No requirement for motor vehicle liability insurance.
    An e-bike is a bike that:
    • has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals;
    • is designed to be propelled primarily by muscular power and to travel on not more than three wheels;
    • has a motor that has a power output rating of 500W or less. (Note: the motor is electric, and is incapable of propelling the cycle at speed of 32km/h or greater on level ground, without pedaling.)
    The power-assisted bicycle pilot is authorized by Ontario Regulation 473/06. In this regulation, the legal definition of an e-bike refers to the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle. For the full definition, please see subsection 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

    Bike vs. e-Bike clarification in Ontario

    An e-Bike is considered as a Bicycle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). As such it enjoys the same privileges and restrictions as a normal bicycle. Despite the presence of an electric motor on an e-Bike it's important to understand that an e-Bike is not considered as a Motor Vehicle but is simply a Vehicle.

    So what does that mean? Well, since it's a bike, you can't ride it on a freeway (400 series highway). And since it's a bike it can also be ridden on bike paths, trails, multi-use paths unless there's a municipal bylaw that specifically prevents you from doing so. If you see a sign at the entrance of a park that says "no motor vehicles allowed", just remember, your eBike isn't a Motor Vehicle.
    Last edited by Zeuser; 05-11-07 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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    w00t

    new law changing in ontario

    w00t

    it change yet? how long it legalize? it should follow canadain law ftotal for the federal and not have distincet for ontarian

    who konws
    but it is same for quebec the albertas

    the laws for permite them as legal on road like bike

    oh well, soon i hopes

  3. #3
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    H.R.727: USA electric bicycle law

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:H.R.727:

    Title: To amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to provide that low-speed electric bicycles are consumer products subject to such Act.

  4. #4
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    The WV Code doesn't say anything one way or the other. Towns or cities may have passed local ordinances, but there is no statewide rule that I can discover.

  5. #5
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    The following is the Assembly Bill that added electric bicycles to the California Vehicle Code.


    MEASURE : A.B. No. 1501
    AUTHOR(S) : Bordonaro (Senator Mountjoy, coauthor).
    TOPIC : Motorized bicycles: electric motor: definition.
    +LAST AMENDED DATE : 08/21/95

    LAST HIST. ACT. DATE: 10/13/95
    LAST HIST. ACTION : Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 804,
    Statutes of 1995. ["chaptered" means written into law books]

    TITLE : An act to amend Sections 406 and 12804.9 of, and to add
    Section 24016 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


    LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
    AB 1501, Bordonaro. Motorized bicycles: electric motor: definition.

    SECTION 1. Section 406 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
    406. (a) A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device
    ... and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
    (b) A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by
    human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:
    (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.
    (2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on
    ground level.
    (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to
    propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.

    SEC. 3. Section 24016 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
    24016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the
    following criteria:
    (1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by
    the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the
    requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R.
    571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of
    1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles.
    (2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function
    when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged
    through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to
    disengage or cease to function.
    (b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section
    406:
    (1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly
    fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.
    (2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
    (3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code
    relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate
    requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
    (4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.

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    Just a note kids--in the US at least, there are no "standard" motorized bicycle laws or definitions. You have to contact your state DMV to find out what's legal and what's not, and towns and other local governments may have laws concerning them as well.
    ~

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    H R 727

    Hello Scott and all,

    Just a little update, the final version of H.R. 727 became Federal law as P. L. 107-319 in December 2002.

    I researched it a bit as Vermont also has no recognition of electric bicycles, and I'm seriously considering buying one as gasoline approaches $4/gallon. I'm not a lawyer buy the following passage may help:

    "This section shall supersede any State law or requirement with respect to low-speed electric bicycles to the extent that such State law or requirement is more stringent than the Federal law or requirements referred to in subsection (a)."

    As I understand the word supersede, it means that this law and definition takes precedence over more strict State law and regulations concerning low-speed electric bicycles.

    The law's definition of "low-speed electric bicycles" might interest some.

    "For the purpose of this section, the term `low-speed electric bicycle' means 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 was surprised in a pleasant way when President Bush signed this green bill this into law, since he's often very neglectful environmentally, but at least he's an avid bicyclist. )

    Ride safe, Frank

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    I'm not a lawyer, either, but one thing that worries me a little is that the Consumer Product Safety law that gets quoted a lot has nothing to do with traffic rules, only safety regulations & requirements. It is basically saying that states can't make seperate rules for ebikes in relation to equipment requirements, etc. If some state wanted ebikes to have to have a horn and turn signals, for example, they'd have to require ALL bicycles to have that equpiment. I suspect that states could still ban ebikes from paths, etc.

  9. #9
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    Watch out for DUI laws! Many people are used to being able to ride their bike home from the party. Once you have an electric motor it becomes a motor vehicle.

  10. #10
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    They'll bust people for DUI on a regular bike here, I've been told.

  11. #11
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    Shoot, I've known pedestrians around here to be picked up under the charge "simple drunk." Apparently, it's a significantly more minor charge than DUI, but still, wow.

  12. #12
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    In Ontario, during the duration of the pilot project for electric bikes, DUI laws don't apply.

    check here (Item #17) : Ontario eBike FAQ

    17. If a police officer stopped someone who is drunk while driving an e-bike, how would they be charged? Would this be a Criminal Code offence? HTA offence?

    Drinking and driving a motor vehicle is a Criminal Code offence and charges are laid under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under the Criminal Code, the definition of a "motor vehicle" would include an e-bike and anyone operating an e-bike intoxicated could be charged for impaired driving. If convicted, the offender would be subject to the Criminal Code penalties, including a fine or jail time, and a driving prohibition. However, under this pilot regulation, an e-bike would not be a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act, so penalties for impaired driving under the Act would not apply.

  13. #13
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C
    The following is the Assembly Bill that added electric bicycles to the California Vehicle Code.


    SECTION 1. Section 406 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
    406. (a) A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device
    ... and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
    (b) A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by
    human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:
    (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.
    (2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on
    ground level.
    (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to
    propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.
    Does anyone else find this confusing? It can propel an individual not more than 30 miles per hour ... but then later says 20 MPH. Also it says that it won't increase anyone's speed above 20 MPH. Gosh, even I can hit that for brief periods. So is the engine supposed to have a governor that turns off at 20MPH somehow? Or maybe even apply a brake to prevent a cyclist under his own power of pushing the thing faster than 25 MPH?

    It doesn't even mention rider weight ... so how do they do it? Or does no one pay attention to the fine print?
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  14. #14
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    There's a govenor. Soon as it sees 20MPH it simply cuts the power to the motor until it drops back below 20 MPH at which point it can assist again.

    You have to try one to find out that 20 MPH isn't that slow. My "unlimited" version (I simply defeat the governor) only goes about 25MPH and I can tell you: it's fast. I'm always speeding past others. The difference is that you can sustain 20MPH for a long period of time with an eBike.

  15. #15
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    Does anyone else find this confusing? It can propel an individual not more than 30 miles per hour ... but then later says 20 MPH.
    Section A deals with petrol powered mopeds. These were all but killed in CA once th estate started requiring that they be licensed and Insured (a whole different rant). Section B deals with what we are talking about, e-bikes.

  16. #16
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuser
    There's a govenor. Soon as it sees 20MPH it simply cuts the power to the motor until it drops back below 20 MPH at which point it can assist again.

    You have to try one to find out that 20 MPH isn't that slow. My "unlimited" version (I simply defeat the governor) only goes about 25MPH and I can tell you: it's fast. I'm always speeding past others. The difference is that you can sustain 20MPH for a long period of time with an eBike.
    This implies that any kit will need a speedometer -- does that come with most kits?
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Most ebike motors are brushless, so the speed limiting can be done through the controller. I suppose a brushed motor would need some speed sensing feedback to conform to the letter of the law.
    Team Mavic, winner of the 2003 Cycle to the Sun race

  18. #18
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    I better not see ANYONE on an ebike in MY state of Hawaii!!!!



    Linda Lingle
    Governor of Hawaii

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie Hatfield
    I better not see ANYONE on an ebike in MY state of Hawaii!!!!



    Linda Lingle
    Governor of Hawaii
    Very attractive lady there, my congratulations, Mr. Hatfield.

  20. #20
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    LMAO at this picture. Shouldn't the governor be banned from e bike forums for banning e bikes?

  21. #21
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    sydney laws are bike rider must be over 16, wear head gear,bike must be pedal asist,motor not to exceed 200 watts,must be electric,they are thinking of changing the wattage later to a higher one,the mirror men are still looking into it lol.cheers

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    Unfortunately in New Jersey E-bikes are considered Mopeds and must be licensed, registered and insured as such. Electric Mopeds must have pedals and may have a motor no greater than 750 Watts and a speed of no greater than 25 MPH. There are no safety inspection requirments for Mopeds, but they must comply with state bicycle safety requirements for things like a sounding device, brakes, and reflectors. If you are over 17 years of age a regular automotive driving license will suffice. Moped drivers must wear a helmet and be able to show their license, registration and proof insurance and must comply with all automtive rules and regulations on public roadways.
    Last edited by CGRLCDR; 09-24-07 at 04:55 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Ebike inches his way towards a ban...

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