Motor-Assist Bicycles on Sidewalks

Question

Jim asked: The statute states, no vehicle other than by human power is permitted upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, etc. A bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and electric helper capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more that 20 miles per hour meets the definition of a bicycle under FL Statute 316.003(2). However, Statute 316.1995 states, no person shall drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, etc. IF THE ELECTRIC HELPER BICYCLE REQUIRES HUMAN POWER TO ENGAGE IS IT PERMITTED ON BIKE PATHS, SIDEWALKS, ETC.?

Answer

The statute seems to be clear.

s. 316.1995Driving upon Sidewalk or Bicycle Path

(1) Except as provided in s. 316.008 (local authorities powers) or s. 316.212(8) (Local authorities and 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.

If any means other than human power is engaged while on a sidewalk, except as noted herein, it is not legal.  If only powered by human power, any vehicle would seem to be legal.

Devices referred to as Segways may be operated on sidewalks.

s. 316.2068Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices; Regulations

(1) An electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined in s. 316.003, may be operated:

(b) On a marked bicycle path.

(e) On a sidewalk, if the person operating the device yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and gives an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

Posted in Ask Geo, Motorized Bicycles
3 comments on “Motor-Assist Bicycles on Sidewalks
  1. SpecialFX says:

    If you’re asking if you can ride your electric bicycle on a sidewalk, the answer is a yes/no/maybe situation…
    If you are pedaling only , sure, then yes. If you are peddling with the electric assist on, then NO.

    The maybe is if you want to take the chance that the Leo won’t recognize the fact that you have electric assist on your bike. If you’re going VERY slow, then it will probably go unnoticed, but if you’re going 10mph+ then probably get caught.

  2. Geo says:

    Michael,

    Yes, as long as you don’t engage the motor and use only human power. Keep in mind that we are talking about bike paths, which are separate from the roadway. Motor assist electric bikes are permitted in bike lanes, which are part of the roadway.

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