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. 316.1995 – Driving 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.