Motor-Assist Bicycles on Sidewalks
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.?
The statute seems to be clear.
s. 316.1995 – Driving 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. 316.2068 – Electric 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.
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.
So I can ride an electric bicycle on bike paths, is that correct?
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.
So let’s say, if this is taking place in Florida, that I bought an electric bike that goes up to 13-15 mph.
If I can’t use the electric option on the sidewalk, even if no one is in harm’s way and I shut off the electric motor as soon as I see someone/something on the sidewalk and slow down until they pass by, where do I use it then?
If there’s no bike lane? On the side of the road, where the speed limit is 45 and the margin isn’t big enough for a bicycle?
(I’m talking a main road like 512, where I’d only be taking it to travel 2 miles since I don’t have a car)
And I mean a 13-15 mph bicycle, just to be clear, and it has pedals.
The law is clear.
” …. a person may not drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area …. “.
Your vehicle may be operated on the the roadway, which includes a bike lane, without a driver’s license or registration if your vehicle meets the statutory definition of “bicycle”.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(2) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which a person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device.