RULES OF THE ROAD
Special Rules for Bicycles and Mopeds
265:144-a Electric Bicycles.
I. Except as otherwise provided in this section, electric bicycles and operators of electric bicycles shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and shall be subject to all of the duties, of a bicycle or the operator of a bicycle. An electric bicycle is a vehicle to the same extent as a bicycle.
II. An electric bicycle or a person operating an electric bicycle shall not be subject to the provisions of this title relating to financial responsibility, drivers' licenses, registration, certificates of title, off highway recreational vehicles, and license plates. An electric bicycle is not a motor vehicle for these purposes.
III. On and after January 1, 2020, manufacturers and distributors of electric bicycles shall apply a label that is permanently affixed, in a prominent location, to each electric bicycle. The label shall contain the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage of the electric bicycle, and shall be printed in arial font in at least 9-point type.
IV. No person shall tamper with or modify an electric bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric bicycle, unless he or she appropriately replaces the label indicating the classification required pursuant to paragraph III.
V. An electric bicycle shall comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in 16 C.F.R. section 1512.
VI. An electric bicycle shall operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the rider stops pedaling or when the brakes are applied.
VII. An electric bicycle may be operated wherever a bicycle may be operated, subject to the following limitations:
(a) A class 1 or class 2 electric bicycle may be ridden on bicycle paths or on multi-use paths where bicycles are permitted. However, a city, town, or state agency having jurisdiction over a bicycle or multi-use path may prohibit the operation of a class 1 or class 2 electric bicycle on that path.
(b) A class 3 electric bicycle shall not be ridden on a bicycle or multi-use path unless it is within or adjacent to a highway or roadway, or unless a city, town, or state agency having jurisdiction over the path permits the operation of class 3 electric bicycles on that path.
VIII. The provisions of paragraph VII shall not apply to a trail designated as non-motorized if such trail has a natural surface tread made by clearing and grading the native soil with no added surfacing materials. A city, town, or state agency with jurisdiction over such a trail may regulate the use of electric bicycles on such a trail.
IX. No person less than 16 years of age may operate a class 3 electric bicycle. A person less than 16 years of age may ride as a passenger on a class 3 electric bicycle that is designed to accommodate passengers.
X. No person less than 18 years of age may ride or sit as a passenger on a class 3 electric bicycle unless he or she wears a properly-fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets standards provided by either the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or the American Society for Testing and Materials, or standards subsequently established by those entities.
XI. All class 3 electric bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour.
Source. 2019, 93:11, eff. Aug. 18, 2019.