Local Ordinance and eBikes

Question

Mike asked: Can a local government outlaw or regulate use of e-bikes even though the e-bike meets the statutory definition of an e-bike?

Answer

If it meets the criteria, an e-bike is a bicycle by statutory definition.

s. 316.003Definitions

(3) 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 any person may ride ….

A bicyclist operating with only human power has the same rights and duties as any other driver.

s. 316.2065Bicycle Regulations

(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter ….

Local authorities can enact certain ordinances, including those regulating bicycles within their jurisdiction, if they do not conflict with state statutes.

s. 316.008Powers of Local Authorities

(1) The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(h) Regulating the operation of bicycles.

That would seem to include all bicycles or certain types of bicycles such as e-bikes.

The definition of bicycle/e-bike does not seem to be a limiting factor since the overall rights and duties of operators of solely human powered vehicles are not infringed by local ordinances restricting operation of e-bikes which are not strictly human powered. It would appear that the operation of motorized bicycles can be restricted by local ordinance.

Posted in Ask Geo, Motorized Bicycles, Rights & Duties
6 comments on “Local Ordinance and eBikes
  1. Chuck says:

    316.2065 states you have all the rights of ” any other vehicle”. This would imply that bicycles may not be singled out or restricted unless every other vehicle is also restricted since bicycles have the same ” rights as any other vehicle”. The Statutes appear to conflict.

  2. Geo says:

    Chuck,

    The statute to which you refer concerns “human powered” vehicles, not necessarily bicycles. A motorized bicycle is not solely human powered.

    • Chuck says:

      Then since this statute does not apply to bicycles and motorized bicycles does this mean a motorized bicycle does not have the ” rights and dutys” of every other vehicle? Therefor does not have any ” duty” to obey traffic laws sine neither rights nor dutys apply except to solely human powered vehicles?

  3. Geo says:

    Chuck,

    I should have included this part of 2065, the exception for special regulations which explains the applicability of local ordinances:

    “316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
    …. except as to special regulations in this chapter …. “

  4. Geo says:

    Chuck,

    Operator of bicycles, including motorized bicycles, are operating vehicles and must comply with all traffic laws.

    s. 316.072 – Obedience to and Effect of Traffic Laws

    (2) REQUIRED OBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC LAWS.—It is unlawful for any person to do any act forbidden, or to fail to perform any act required, in this chapter. It is unlawful for the owner, or any other person employing or otherwise directing the driver of any vehicle, to require or knowingly permit the operation of such vehicle upon a highway in any manner contrary to law.

  5. Special FX says:

    I think the OP was not concerned about Floridian law considering e-bikes…

    Floridian law concerning e-bikes is very similar to the “federal cpsc definition” of e-bikes…

    Some people try to use that definition, in other states, to try to bypass states laws that do not consider e-bikes as regular bicycles but as motorized vehicles that require a drivers license.

    Florida does NOT consider e-bikes as license required motor vehicles, but as bicycles.

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