Electric bicycles are legal on Virginia streets. They can ride on roadways, bike lanes and bike paths, but are not allowed on sidewalks. It’s worth adopting the three-tier system for general electric bike safety if you’re in a state where there are no regulations. In the southern Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen, electric bicycles, like motorcycles, are banned in certain downtown districts.
Electric bicycles fall between analogue motorcycles and dirt bikes, and the regulation & legal system for electric bicycles recognizes this. Class 1 and 2 bikes are the most common class of eBikes for recreational riders who enjoy mountain biking, hunting or outdoor exploration.
State law usually focuses on whether eBikes are classified as traditional bicycles, mopeds or scooters, but definitions continue to vary in other states. States with a three-tier classification system often exempt eBikes from registration, licensing and insurance requirements to differentiate them from other motorized vehicles such as mopeds and scooters.
Remember that electric bikes are still relatively new, so other motorists may not be accustomed to sharing the road with eBikes and may have difficulty gauging the speed at which you ride. Also, organizers of bike races, rides and other events are encouraged to consult with their insurance companies about how the inclusion of eBikes at their events may affect insurance coverage and costs.
The Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act defines an assisted bicycle as a bicycle with an electric motor of 500 watts or less, with two wheels (one of which is at least 350 mm) or four wheels (two of which are at least 350 mm). CalBike, one of the leading bicycle advocacy organizations in California, does an excellent job on their website of what traffic laws apply to each class of electric bikes, whether or not DIY electric bikes are legal and pointing out the difference between high-speed and low-speed electric bikes and what laws apply to each class.
They have helmet laws that apply to all riders, including e-bike riders, below a certain age, ranging from under 12 to 18. While many bikes can reach 30 miles per hour, local limits must be followed if they are lower in areas such as school zones. Some states have their own rules, such as prohibiting riding an electric bike on bike paths and in built-up areas, so riders should check state laws regarding their use but don’t let the rules put you off, there are still more reasons to ride a bike than there is to driving a car.. Electric bicycles are allowed on sidewalks and bike lanes, but are subject to local city or county restrictions.
In West Virginia, bicyclists under the age of 15 must wear helmets, and in New York, bicyclists under the age of 14 are required to wear helmets. The BPSA system also creates rules governing the use of electric bicycles, with safety as a top priority.