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  1. #1
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    Help Can i legally ride my ebike if:

    I have a Dui, since federally these are considered bicycles. I got my license suspended and have no public transportation where i live and if i could ride one of these(Which i already bought one) it would be a life saver. Please i know alot of you will say check your local laws,but its useless cuz no one seems to know and i get some people like the registry say that they are considered bicycles but i get the police say that "anything with a motor attached to it,is considered a motor vehical" but the federal government passed an amended law stating that these are bicycles and should not be considered motor vehicals.

    Help if anyone knows!!

  2. #2
    oldsprinter oldsprinter's Avatar
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    Unless you tell us which nation and which city you're in we're not going to be able to help you. Since you said "federal" I'm presuming you're in Australia or the U.S. - but every state has different rules in the U.S.

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    oh yeah, sorry

    I live in new hampshire in the USA.

  4. #4
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Here's the Federal Law:

    [Federal Register: February 12, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 29)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Page 7072-7073]
    From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
    [DOCID:fr12fe03-3]


    =======================================================================
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION


    16 CFR Part 1512



    Requirements for Low-Speed Electric Bicycles


    AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.


    ACTION: Final rule.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    SUMMARY: Public Law 107-319, 116 Stat. 2776 (the Act), enacted December
    4, 2002, subjects low-speed electric bicycles to the Commission's
    existing regulations at 16 CFR part 1512 and 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(12) for
    bicycles that are solely human powered. For purposes of this
    requirement, the Act defines a low-speed electric bicycle as ``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.'' Public Law No.
    107-319, section 1, 116 Stat. 2776 (2002). The Commission is issuing
    this immediately effective amendment to its requirements for bicycles
    at 16 CFR part 1512 to promptly inform the public of the newly enacted
    statutory requirement on low-speed electric bicycles.


    DATES: This amendment is effective upon publication in the Federal
    Register, that is, on February 12, 2003.


    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lowell Martin, Esq., Office of the
    General Counsel, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC
    20207; telephone (301) 504-7628; e-mail lmartin@cpsc.gov.


    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Law 107-319 (the Act), enacted
    December 4, 2002, amends the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), 15
    U.S.C. 2051, et seq., by adding a new


    [[Page 7073]]


    section 38 establishing requirements for low speed electric bicycles.
    Specifically, section 1 of the Act makes low-speed electric
    bicycles subject to the Commission's existing regulations on bicycles.


    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, low-speed
    electric bicycles are consumer products within the meaning of
    section 3(a)(1)[of the CPSA] and shall be subject to the Commission
    regulations published at Sec. 1500.18(a)(12) and part 1512 of title
    16, Code of Federal Regulations.


    Public Law 107-319, section 1, 116 Stat. 2776.
    The Act defines the term ``low-speed electric bicycle'' as follows:


    (b) for purposes 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.


    Id.
    The Commission's regulation at 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(12) makes the
    determination that bicycles that do not comply with the requirements of
    16 CFR part 1512 present a mechanical hazard within the meaning of
    section 2(s) of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA). 15 U.S.C.
    1261(s). The effect of this determination is that noncomplying bicycles
    are ``hazardous substances'' for purposes of section 2(f)(1)(D) of the
    FHSA, and are also ``banned hazardous substances'' pursuant to section
    2(q)(1)(A) of the FHSA. 15 U.S.C. 1261(f)(1)(D), 1261(q)(1)(A). See
    also, Forester v. Consumer Product Safety Com'n, 559 F.2d 774, 783-786
    (D.C. Cir. 1977).
    The amendment to Sec. 1512.2 of 16 CFR part 1512 promulgated today
    incorporates the Act's definition of ``low-speed electric bicycle,''
    thereby helping to inform the public of the statutory application of
    part 1512 to low-speed electric bicycles.
    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)
    authorizes an agency to dispense with certain notice procedures for a
    rule when it finds ``good cause'' to do so. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
    Specifically, under section 553(b)(3)(B), the requirement for notice
    and an opportunity to comment does not apply when the agency, for good
    cause, finds that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or
    contrary to the public interest.'' The requirement reflected in this
    amendment is imposed by the Act and is not discretionary with the
    Commission. Accordingly, the Commission hereby finds that notice and an
    opportunity for comment on this amendment are unnecessary.
    Section 553(d)(3) of the APA authorizes an agency, ``for good cause
    found and published with the rule,'' to dispense with the otherwise
    applicable requirement that a rule be published in the Federal Register
    at least 30 days before its effective date. The Commission hereby finds
    that the 30 day delay in effective date is unnecessary because the
    requirement reflected in the amendment was imposed by the Act and is
    not discretionary with the Commission.
    Because this amendment incorporates a requirement mandated by
    statute that is not discretionary with the Commission, and thus is not
    subject to notice and comment, this rule is not subject to the
    Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. Because this
    amendment incorporates a statutory requirement not subject to agency
    discretion, it is not an agency action subject to the National
    Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.
    Pursuant to Executive Order No. 12988, the Commission states the
    preemptive effect of this regulation as follows. Section 1 of the Act
    provides that its requirements ``shall supercede 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)[the Commission's
    regulations on bicycles at 16 CFR part 1512].'' Public Law No. 107-319,
    section 1, 116 Stat. 2776.


    List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1512


    Consumer protection, Hazardous substances, Imports, Infants and
    children, Labeling, Law enforcement, and Toys.


    For the foregoing reasons, the Commission amends Title 16 of the
    Code of Federal Regulation to read as follows:


    PART 1512--REQUIREMENTS FOR BICYCLES


    1. The authority citation for Part 1512 is revised to read as
    follows:


    Authority: Secs. 2(f)(1)(D), (q)(1)(A), (s), 3(e)(1), 74 Stat.
    372, 374, 375, as amended, 80 Stat. 1304-05, 83 Stat. 187-89 (15
    U.S.C. 1261, 1262); Pub. L. 107-319, 116 Stat. 2776.




    Sec. 1512.2. [Amended]


    2. Amend Sec. 1512.2, to revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    (a) Bicycle means:
    (1) A two-wheeled vehicle having a rear drive wheel that is solely
    human-powered;
    (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.


    Dated: February 6, 2003.
    Todd A. Stevenson,
    Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 03-3423 Filed 2-11-03; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  5. #5
    adrenaline junkie
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    That law defines safety requirements for low power electric assist bikes, and places their regulation under CPSC control, rather than NHTSA. It does not address licensing requirements, which are determined at the state level in the US (as I understand it - IANAL).

    I had a long conversation with a man who described his son's ordeal after being cited for riding his electric bike without a driver's license and losing his case in court. Of course, that doesn't mean the story is true, or that the law is the same where you live. I would strongly suggest asking your lawyer for advice in this case. Disregard anything you read here - the stakes are too high.

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    state dmv site

    yeah my state dmv (nh) site doesnt mention anything about ebikes. Just scooters and mopeds. But that is my whole problem federally these are not considered either or thats why they gave them to CPSC to regulate instead of the National Highway safety something. Even my state capital's regisetry told me that cant register one cuz they consider them bicycles also.
    IM just confused

  7. #7
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    If the state says it's a bicycle then it's a bike.
    Any laws in NH saying you can't ride a bicycle while your license is suspended from a DUI?

  8. #8
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    I would just ride it carefully and as inconspicuously as possible and see what happens.
    What's the worst that could happen?

    I mean you have a DUI and now you're worried about the law?

  9. #9
    P7 Fanboy JinbaIttai's Avatar
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    It would come down to how crooked the judge and cops are.
    Even if the law is in black and white in your favor, the cop can lie and say he paced you going 28 mph, so therefore it's not a bike anymore it's a moped.

    Better to just avoid the situation altogether. Mount your battery in a clever way that doesn't advertise you have an electric helper. Don't dress like a "criminal on a bike."

    Stay low profile, obey the traffic laws, don't look like someone a cop wants to pick on.

    I ride in an area that is legally not e-bike friendly. I pass closely by police and they never give a second glance; all they perceive is a guy riding a bicycle somewhere with a backpack and a bunch of pannier bags. I have lots of bright lights and play the part of an adult commuter.

    Save court justice for TV fiction.

  10. #10
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martybucs View Post
    I would just ride it carefully and as inconspicuously as possible and see what happens.
    What's the worst that could happen?

    I mean you have a DUI and now you're worried about the law?
    Be courteous, let others have the right of way. An E-Bike has a motor and can get moving again easily, after a stop. (that's why motorists are supposed to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians, but that's another story...)

    Get a rear view mirror, and use it so you know when motor vehicles are behind you. Pull over and let them by, so they don't get angry, and then go again.

    It really is a paradox, but having a motor actually makes it easier to stop, on account of the fact that you can get going again.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  11. #11
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    I mean you have a DUI and now you're worried about the law?
    If I were somebody with a DUI, who hoped to be able to drive in the future, I would try to avoid being ticketed for operating a motor vehicle without a license.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  12. #12
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    Here's the Federal Law:
    ...
    In the United States, federal law does not determine what vehicles you can use on public roads, or how you can use them; that's under state laws.

    The definition you're looking at is used to determine whether the safety requirements manufacturers must meet fall under the Consumer Product Safety Commission rules (which regulates toys, among other things) or whether it's some other group (I think it would be the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).

    (Disclaimer: consult a lawyer if you really want to know the law on this topic)
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerewa View Post
    If I were somebody with a DUI, who hoped to be able to drive in the future, I would try to avoid being ticketed for operating a motor vehicle without a license.

    Yeah, that was kind of snarky of me...sorry.

    I pass cops all the time and have not been bothered yet. One tip, make sure you're pedaling when they see you!

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    good advice guys!

    i accept your apology marty at first i was like "what the heck" thats exactly why i would worry about the law now.Everyone makes mistakes and should be able to learn from them and nothing for nothing but alot of people drink and drive they just dont get caught! Anywhoo people like Hotbike and JinbaIttai thank you for good advise and i started making my bike "down low" but covering the motor with a filter cover that also acts like a weather and dust protector. I also covered my battery with contact paper thats the same color as my bike. I actually passed or they passed me a couple of cops today and as they were going by i peddled like i was in the Tour de France and they just kept going (but i think they were on a call) but thanks guys. If anyone else has more input that can be more useful i would appreciate it, cuz at the end of the day, i might have to use this information in COURT!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    If the state says it's a bicycle then it's a bike.
    Any laws in NH saying you can't ride a bicycle while your license is suspended from a DUI?
    Exactly.

    If the ebike you have is within the speeds and power limits of the federal law, and NH doesn't have anything specifically more to add about this subject, then your electric bike is considered a bicycle. And as long as you don't need a license to ride a bicycle, then you should be fine! Most cops aren't even aware that electric bikes exist, you shouldn't have a problem. Glad to know you found a way to get around again.

  16. #16
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    How about this brilliant solution: just ride a bicycle.

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    bicycle?

    How bout not! I get too tired peddling up hill and stuff like that!!

  18. #18
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    Maybe you should have thought about that before you drove drunk and put others at risk. I can't believe anyone here is even trying to help you.

  19. #19
    adrenaline junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Bicyclette View Post
    If the ebike you have is within the speeds and power limits of the federal law, and NH doesn't have anything specifically more to add about this subject, then your electric bike is considered a bicycle.
    One more time: The federal law defining low power electric assist bikes does not address the legality of using them.

    New Hampshire's vehicle code defines bicycle as "every pedalled vehicle propelled solely by human power upon which any person may ride, except child's tricycles and similar devices" [Title XXI Section259:6]. It looks to me like ebikes are not automatically included, and I am pretty sure that states have the final say with regard to vehicle laws.

    If it helps, I have a relevant story: I contacted the Forest Service and presented the theory the theory that the federal law allows my ebike to be treated as a regular bicycle for the purpose of riding on USFS trails. After researching the laws, their replied that in their opinion, ebikes are not bicycles.

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    Thanks guy for all advise

    Pacifica Slim ur a clown ever heard that saying if u dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all. If you dont have anything useful info for me go send ur dumb message on "Twitter". AS for everyone else thank you for ur advise and for actually taking some time out of your own life to find some of this information i am really grateful. And yes i understand that the federal law passed is for safety purpose but then why did the federal gov. make an amended rule to redefine the meaning of a bicycle so the CSPC regulate these bikes and not the NHTSA . I think it because they are considered more toys than motor vehicles. This subject is confusing on all levels and nobody knows the really answer.

    BTW: Pacifica slim every drove a car after u had been drinking and just never got caught?
    Last edited by lildeph; 03-18-09 at 02:54 PM.

  21. #21
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    stupid laws deserve to be ignored.

    electric bikes are a damn good idea, and they are readily available in dept stores.

    I say we just drive the hell out of them, and send a message to the government that "No, I will not go to the back of the bus"

  22. #22
    P7 Fanboy JinbaIttai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    Maybe you should have thought about that before you drove drunk and put others at risk. I can't believe anyone here is even trying to help you.
    People do make mistakes in life. Try to let your heart thaw out a little bit. OP could have just driven on a suspended license, many DUIs do.

  23. #23
    It's easy being green. recumelectric's Avatar
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    Ignore pacificaslim. For some reason, he/she likes ragging on the electric cyclists. This person has some kind of personal issue or something. Perhaps his/her mother was frightened by an e-bike during pregnancy. I don't know.
    Last edited by recumelectric; 03-21-09 at 02:38 PM.
    When I ride, the troubles just roll off my back.

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    Every bike is noble steed, a stalwart machine, a clever device, a stealthy speedster.

  24. #24
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    Electric Bike, Electric Bicycle, Power-Assisted Bicycle, Power Trailer, Electric Star
    Quote Originally Posted by lildeph View Post
    I have a Dui, since federally these are considered bicycles. I got my license suspended and have no public transportation where i live and if i could ride one of these(Which i already bought one) it would be a life saver. Please i know alot of you will say check your local laws,but its useless cuz no one seems to know and i get some people like the registry say that they are considered bicycles but i get the police say that "anything with a motor attached to it,is considered a motor vehical" but the federal government passed an amended law stating that these are bicycles and should not be considered motor vehicals.

    Help if anyone knows!!
    Look at the info in the link above. This refers to Federal Public Law 107-319, which states that "low-speed e-bike" are actual plain bicycles, and therefore don't require a driver's license, nor a registration, nor insurance. As long as speed is 20 mph max, they have "functional pedals", and motor is not more than 750 watts. I have a Jetson e-bike, and it falls in that category. I have a little pdf document that I carry with me in relation with this law. I was trying to send it to you, but apparently attachments are not permitted on this site.

    Good luck. Johnny G.

  25. #25
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    Don't agree with you. Federal Laws trump State laws. I live in mass and don't have a problem. Some cops have been trying to hassle me because my Jetson ebike looks like a scooter, or a moped, until I waived a copy of Federal Public Law 107-319 at them.
    This law clearly states that it supersedes any State law or requirement with respect to ebikes, to the extent that such State law is more stringent than the Fed Law, in this respect!

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