6 Comments on “Rules for eBikes

  1. While it is true that certain electric bicycles have lately been classified as “bicycles” (and therefor the rider does not need to be licensed), the rules for them are not one and the same.

    For example, although human powered bicycles may usually be ridden on sidewalks and always on bicycle paths, bicycles with an “electric helper motor” which is providing power may not: F.S. § 316.1995(1) “Driving upon sidewalk or bicycle path.— (1) Except as provided in s. 316.008 or s. 316.212(8), a person may not drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area…”

    A bicycle path is defined as: “BICYCLE PATH.—Any road, path, or way that is open to bicycle travel, which road, path, or way is physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or by a barrier and is located either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way.” (F.S. § 316.003 (63))

    Shared-use paths such as rail-trails and those within a street’s right-of-way are examples of bicycle paths where electric bicycles may not be ridden if their motors are providing any power.

  2. And what if the assist falls under ADA as the rider cannot ride their bike without this assist? I have a Bionx which is less than 20 mph, quiet, and electric but cannot ride my bike without this assist?

  3. Gabrielle,
    ADA regulations are beyond the scope of this site. Please see the appropriate agency or an ADA attorney for advice.

  4. In the context of your question, the ADA forbids entities which provide access to public facilities from discriminating against people with certain disabilities by requiring that reasonable accommodations be made for their mobility needs. The ADA does not have a list of each and every disability which is covered by that law, but rather defines a disability by the way it limits a person’s life activities. In general, my understanding is that if a person qualifies for a disability parking tag or card they are probably covered by the ADA.

    The ADA defines two types of mobility devices which these people may use to access public facilities: wheelchairs and OPDMDs (Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices). An e-bike is not a wheelchair, but it might fit the definition of an OPDMD.

    However, whether a person’s use of their e-bike is protected by the ADA would depend on whether the person’s disability meets the ADA’s requirements. If not, there is no OPDMD, including an e-bike, which someone may use to skirt the prohibition of using motorized vehicles on, let’s say, non-motorized recreational trails.

    So, whether the use of your e-bike on a non-motorized recreational trail is covered by the ADA would depend on whether your disability is covered by the ADA, not so much the design of your e-bike. And if the use of your e-bike is protected by the ADA, the governing entity may limit your speed to something less than that of people who are riding by human power only.

    Here are links to two documents which you might find helpful: ADA Requirements and Florida State Parks Wheelchair/OPDMD Policy

    • Thanks so much for your response. That was also my understanding of the law, and when I was questioned about my use of the bike, that was the first thing I said to her. I do have a parking decal and am more than covered under ADA with my diagnosis. I am waiting to hear back from the Park system, as well as the County and one other entity but nobody is really prompt to answer at this point. Thank you again!

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