Electric Bikes on Sidewalks


Jim asked: I am starting an electric bike rental business at our beach and there seems to be controversy concerning the definition of motorized vehicle and its use on a bike and walking path. Why is this such a problem to define. What does the Florida and specifically Escambia County code say? Thanks for your help.


It isn’t a problem to define. It is quite clear.

Only human powered vehicles may be driven on a bike path or sidewalk.

s. 316.1995Driving upon Sidewalk or Bicycle Path

(1) Except as provided in s. 316.008 (local ordinances) or s. 316.212(8) (golf carts), a person may not drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

(3) This section does not apply to motorized wheelchairs.

We believe a bicycle with an electric assist motor or gas assist motor (or any other vehicle) can be legally operated on a sidewalk or bike path if the motor is not operating and is powered solely by human power.

Gas assist motors on bicycles are not legal except on private property, unless the vehicle is registered as a moped and the operator has a driver’s license.

Bicycles with electric assist motors are legal on the roadway if they satisfy the statutory definition of “bicycle”. See this post;


I could find no mention of this topic in the Escambia County Muni Codes.


3 Comments on “Electric Bikes on Sidewalks

  1. Maybe the OP has a specific “issue” to which he is referring?

    I know a lot of people think that just because they see people not exactly following the law, that they think that it is legal to do that “thing”..
    (E.g. riding electric and gas bikes on sidewalks, bike paths; riding on sidewalks where a local ordinance prohibits it, running red lights/stop signs, etc, et. al.)

  2. Here are the only two county codes that really have an effect that deals with bicycles…

    Sec. 74-36. – Rules and regulations.
    The following rules and regulations shall apply to all beaches, parks, parkways, playgrounds, piers, recreational areas, recreational centers, and the Old Pensacola Bay Bridge, all of which shall collectively be designated in this article as “parks and recreational areas.” It shall be unlawful for any person or corporation to do any of the acts specified in this section within the limits of such parks and recreational areas, or other facilities and properties owned or operated by the county for park and recreational purposes:
    It is prohibited to ride bicycles, tricycles or other nonmotorized vehicles in any county park or recreational area, except on designated biking paths.


    Sec. 94-5. – Operation of wheeled vehicles prohibited in certain areas.

    Casino Beach and Quietwater Beach Boardwalks. The operation of wheeled vehicles, including but not limited to, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, automobiles, skateboards, or any type of roller skates, shall be prohibited from the concrete boardwalk, which extends for a distance of approximately 800 feet in an east/west direction along the north edge of that area of Santa Rosa Island commonly known as Casino Beach. Further, the operation of any wheeled vehicle, including, but not limited to, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, automobiles, skateboards, or any form of roller skates, shall be prohibited on that area of Santa Rosa Island commonly known as the Quietwater Beach Boardwalk.

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