California Electric Bike Laws

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by JFleck, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. JFleck

    JFleck Guest

    here's the link:

    http://www.werelectrified.com/Cabicyclecode.htm
    OR:
    This is pretty long:


    NEW ELECTRIC BICYCLE LAW IN THE U.S.


    A new US law states that electric bicycles with fully functioning pedals,
    no more than 750 watts of motor power output, and a top speed of 20
    mph on motor power only, are to be treated as "bicycles", and are not
    subject to motorized vehicle laws.

    The US Senate has recently passed bill SR1156 which defines a clear
    legal definition of what an electric bicycle is in the USA.

    This is now a new law (H.R. 727), which has been signed
    by the president, and gives the Consumer Product Safety
    Commission the responsibility for governing the safety of
    new production model electric bicycles, and will define a
    bicycle that has pedals capable of propeling the bicycle,
    an electric motor of no more than 750 watts, and a top
    speed with motor power only of 20 mph as a "bicycle".

    Electric bicycles that fall under this category are not required
    to be registered or licenced, and no drivers license is required
    to drive them. They are subject to all the rules of the road, and
    additional laws governing the operation and safety of electric bicycles
    may extended by state or local governments. This new law offers the
    freedom of being able to use an electric bicycle on public roads and bike
    trails to people in every state.

    ELECTRIC BICYCLE LAW IN CALIFORNIA
    California Motor Vehicle Code:
    406(a) A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is any two-wheeled or
    three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by
    human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy,
    and an automatic transmission and a motor which produces less than 2
    gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the device at a
    maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.

    ESP's California Electric "Moped" Law Summary: In California an
    electric "moped" is NOT required to have pedals, and can not be capable
    of traveling at speeds above 30 mph on level ground on the motors
    power only. Mopeds require obtaining a one time licence plate and
    registration card at the DMV. Moped licencing in California is only $6.00
    and never expires or needs to be re-registered. Drivers must obey all
    rules of the road, wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet, and be over
    16 years old with a valid learners permit or drivers licence. No insurance
    is required.
    (b) A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully operative pedals
    for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all
    of the following requirements:

    (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.(2) Is incapable of
    propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on
    ground level.
    (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human
    power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per
    hour.
    SEC. 3. Section 24016 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

    24016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406
    shall meet the following criteria:

    (1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for
    bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the
    requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety
    Administration in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle
    Safety Act of 1966 for motor driven cycles.

    (2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or
    ceases to function
    when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor
    is engaged
    through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the
    electric motor to
    disengage or cease to function.
    (b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in
    subdivision (b) of Section
    406:
    (1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly
    fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.
    (2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
    (3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code
    relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate
    requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
    (4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.
    ESP's California Electric Bicycle Law Summary: In California an
    electric "bicycle" needs to have fully operational pedals, can not be
    capable of traveling at speeds over 20 mph on level ground using the
    motors power only, and must have under 1000 Watts of motor power
    output. Drivers must obey all rules of the road, wear a bicycle helmet,
    and be over 16 years old. No insurance is required. No driver license or
    vehicle licensing or registration is required.


    STATE OF CALIFORNIA MOTORIZED BICYCLE CODE

    California Bicycle Code

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=21001-22000&file=21200-21212

    406. (a) A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is any two-wheeled or
    three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by
    human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical
    energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor which produces less
    than 2 gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the
    device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level
    ground.
    (b) A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully
    operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric
    motor that meets all of the following requirements:
    (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.
    (2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than
    20 miles per hour on ground level.
    (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device
    when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than
    20 miles per hour.
    (4) Every manufacturer of motorized bicycles, as defined in this
    subdivision, shall provide a disclosure to buyers that advises buyers
    that their existing insurance policies may not provide coverage for
    these bicycles and that they should contact their insurance company
    or insurance agent to determine if coverage is provided.
    (c) The disclosure required under paragraph (4) of subdivision (b)
    shall meet both of the following requirements:
    (1) The disclosure shall be printed in not less than 14-point
    boldface type on a single sheet of paper that contains no information
    other than the disclosure.
    (2) The disclosure shall include the following language in capital
    letters:
    "YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES MAY NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR ACCIDENTS
    INVOLVING THE USE OF THIS BICYCLE. TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS
    PROVIDED YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT."


    407. A "motorized quadricycle" is a four-wheeled device, and a
    "motorized tricycle" is a three-wheeled device, designed to carry not
    more than two persons, including the driver, and having either an
    electric motor or a motor with an automatic transmission developing
    less than two gross brake horsepower and capable of propelling the
    device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level
    ground. The device shall be utilized only by a person who by reason
    of physical disability is otherwise unable to move about as a
    pedestrian or by a senior citizen as defined in Section 13000.

    Senior Citizen

    13000. (a) The department may issue an identification card to any
    person attesting to the true full name, correct age, and other
    identifying data as certified by the applicant for such
    identification card.
    (b) Any person 62 years of age or older may apply for, and the
    department upon receipt of a proper application therefor shall issue,
    an identification card bearing the notation "Senior Citizen".
    (c) Every application for an identification card shall be signed
    and verified by the applicant before a person authorized to
    administer oaths and shall be supported by bona fide documentary
    evidence of the age and identity of the applicant as the department
    may require, and shall include a legible print of the thumb or finger
    of the applicant.
    (d) Any person 62 years of age or older, and any other qualified
    person, may apply for, or possess, an identification card under the
    provisions of either subdivision (a) or (b), but not under both of
    those provisions.

    VEHICLE CODE
    SECTION 21200-21212


    21200. (a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the
    rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver
    of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to,
    provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic
    beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section
    20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000),
    Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division 18
    (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which by
    their very nature can have no application.
    (b) (1) Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing
    with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, operating a
    bicycle during the course of his or her duties is exempt from the
    requirements of subdivision (a), except as those requirements relate
    to driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, if
    the bicycle is being operated under any of the following
    circumstances:
    (A) In response to an emergency call.
    (B) While engaged in rescue operations.
    (C) In the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of
    the law.
    (2) This subdivision does not relieve a peace officer from the
    duty to operate a bicycle with due regard for the safety of all
    persons using the highway.


    21200.5. Notwithstanding Section 21200, it is unlawful for any
    person to ride a bicycle upon a highway while under the influence of
    an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of
    an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person arrested for a
    violation of this section may request to have a chemical test made of
    the person's blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining
    the alcoholic or drug content of that person's blood pursuant to
    Section 23612, and, if so requested, the arresting officer shall have
    the test performed. A conviction of a violation of this section
    shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty
    dollars ($250). Violations of this section are subject to Section
    13202.5.


    21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it
    is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one
    braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
    (b) No person shall operate on the highway any bicycle equipped
    with handlebars so raised that the operator must elevate his hands
    above the level of his shoulders in order to grasp the normal
    steering grip area.
    (c) No person shall operate upon any highway a bicycle which is of
    such a size as to prevent the operator from safely stopping the
    bicycle, supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot
    on the ground, and restarting it in a safe manner.
    (d) Every bicycle operated upon any highway during darkness shall
    be equipped (1) with a lamp emitting a white light which, while the
    bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway in front of the
    bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
    from the sides of the bicycle; (2) with a red reflector on the rear
    which shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when
    directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor
    vehicle; (3) with a white or yellow reflector on each pedal visible
    from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet;
    and (4) with a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the
    center of the bicycle, and with a white or red reflector on each side
    to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles which
    are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need
    not be equipped with these side reflectors. Such reflectors and
    reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting requirements
    established by the department.
    (e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached
    to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
    from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp
    required by clause (1) of subdivision (d).


    21201.3. (a) A bicycle or motorized bicycle used by a peace
    officer, as defined in Section 830.1 of, subdivision (a), (b), (c),
    (d), (e), (f), (g), or (i) of Section 830.2 of, subdivision (b) or
    (d) of Section 830.31 of, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 830.32
    of, Section 830.33 of, subdivision (a) of Section 830.36 of,
    subdivision (a) of Section 830.4 of, or Section 830.6 of, the Penal
    Code, in the performance of the peace officer's duties, may display a
    steady or flashing blue warning light that is visible from the
    front, sides, or rear of the bicycle or motorized bicycle.
    (b) No person shall display a steady or flashing blue warning
    light on a bicycle or motorized bicycle except as authorized under
    subdivision (a).


    21201.5. (a) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, a reflex
    reflector or reflectorized tire of a type required on a bicycle
    unless it meets requirements established by the department. If there
    exists a federal Consumer Product Safety Commission regulation
    applicable to bicycle reflectors, the provisions of that regulation
    shall prevail over provisions of this code or requirements
    established by the department pursuant to this code relative to
    bicycle reflectors.
    (b) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, a new bicycle that is
    not equipped with a red reflector on the rear, a white or yellow
    reflector on each pedal visible from the front and rear of the
    bicycle, a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the
    center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to
    the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles which are
    equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and rear need not be
    equipped with these side reflectors.
    (c) Area reflectorizing material meeting the requirements of
    Section 25500 may be used on a bicycle.


    21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed
    less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction
    at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand
    curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following
    situations:
    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle
    proceeding in the same direction.
    (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a
    private road or driveway.
    (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but
    not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles,
    pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes)
    that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge,
    subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this
    section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for
    a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the
    lane.
    (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
    (b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway,
    which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or
    more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or
    edge of that roadway as practicable.


    21203. No person riding upon any motorcycle, motorized bicycle,
    bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach
    the same or himself to any streetcar or vehicle on the roadway.


    21204. (a) No person operating a bicycle upon a highway shall ride
    other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached
    thereto.
    (b) No operator shall allow a person riding as a passenger, and no
    person shall ride as a passenger, on a bicycle upon a highway other
    than upon or astride a separate seat attached thereto. If the
    passenger is four years of age or younger, or weighs 40 pounds or
    less, the seat shall have adequate provision for retaining the
    passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving
    parts of the bicycle.


    21205. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package,
    bundle or article which prevents the operator from keeping at least
    one hand upon the handlebars.


    21206. This chapter does not prevent local authorities, by
    ordinance, from regulating the registration of bicycles and the
    parking and operation of bicycles on pedestrian or bicycle
    facilities, provided such regulation is not in conflict with the
    provisions of this code.


    21207. (a) This chapter does not prohibit local authorities from
    establishing, by ordinance or resolution, bicycle lanes separated
    from any vehicular lanes upon highways, other than state highways as
    defined in Section 24 of the Streets and Highways Code and county
    highways established pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section
    1720) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Streets and Highways Code.
    (b) Bicycle lanes established pursuant to this section shall be
    constructed in compliance with Section 891 of the Streets and
    Highways Code.


    21207.5. Notwithstanding Sections 21207 and 23127 of this code, or
    any other provision of law, no motorized bicycle may be operated on a
    bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established pursuant to
    Section 21207, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail,
    unless it is within or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local
    authority or the governing body of a public agency having
    jurisdiction over such path or trail permits, by ordinance, such
    operation.


    21208. (a) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a
    roadway pursuant to Section 21207, any person operating a bicycle
    upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic
    moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the
    bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under
    any of the following situations:
    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or
    pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the
    overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
    (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a
    private road or driveway.
    (3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid
    debris or other hazardous conditions.
    (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
    (b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until
    the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after
    giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6
    (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be
    affected by the movement.


    21209. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane
    established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207 except as follows:

    (1) To park where parking is permitted.
    (2) To enter or leave the roadway.
    (3) To prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the
    intersection.
    (b) This section does not prohibit the use of a motorized bicycle
    in a bicycle lane, pursuant to Section 21207.5, at a speed no greater
    than is reasonable or prudent, having due regard for visibility,
    traffic conditions, and the condition of the roadway surface of the
    bicycle lane, and in a manner which does not endanger the safety of
    bicyclists.


    21210. No person shall leave a bicycle lying on its side on any
    sidewalk, or shall park a bicycle on a sidewalk in any other
    position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian
    traffic. Local authorities may, by ordinance or resolution, prohibit
    bicycle parking in designated areas of the public highway, provided
    that appropriate signs are erected.


    21211. (a) No person may stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any class
    I bikeway, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 890.4 of the
    Streets and Highways Code, or any other public or private bicycle
    path or trail, if the stopping, standing, sitting, or loitering
    impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any
    bicyclist.
    (b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other
    object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in
    subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable
    movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is
    necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the
    law.
    (c) This section does not apply to drivers or owners of utility or
    public utility vehicles, as provided in Section 22512.
    (d) This section does not apply to owners or drivers of vehicles
    who make brief stops while engaged in the delivery of newspapers to
    customers along the person's route.
    (e) This section does not apply to the driver or owner of a
    rubbish or garbage truck while actually engaged in the collection of
    rubbish or garbage within a business or residence district if the
    front turn signal lamps at each side of the vehicle are being flashed
    simultaneously and the rear turn signal lamps at each side of the
    vehicle are being flashed simultaneously.
    (f) This section does not apply to the driver or owner of a tow
    vehicle while actually engaged in the towing of a vehicle if the
    front turn signal lamps at each side of the vehicle are being flashed
    simultaneously and the rear turn signal lamps at each side of the
    vehicle are being flashed simultaneously.


    21212. (a) A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a
    bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor shall they wear
    in-line or roller skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, a nonmotorized
    scooter, or a skateboard as a passenger, upon a street, bikeway, as
    defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any
    other public bicycle path or trail unless that person is wearing a
    properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards
    of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or
    the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or
    standards subsequently established by those entities. This
    requirement also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while
    in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer
    towed by the bicycle.
    (b) Any helmet sold or offered for sale for use by operators and
    passengers of bicycles, nonmotorized scooters, skateboards, or
    in-line or roller skates shall be conspicuously labeled in accordance
    with the standard described in subdivision (a) which shall
    constitute the manufacturer's certification that the helmet conforms
    to the applicable safety standards.
    (c) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, for use by an
    operator or passenger of a bicycle, nonmotorized scooter, skateboard,
    or in-line or roller skates any safety helmet which is not of a type
    meeting requirements established by this section.
    (d) Any charge under this subdivision shall be dismissed when the
    person charged alleges in court, under oath, that the charge against
    the person is the first charge against that person under this
    subdivision, unless it is otherwise established in court that the
    charge is not the first charge against the person.
    (e) Except as provided in subdivision (d), a violation of this
    section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than
    twenty-five dollars ($25).
    The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of an
    unemancipated minor whose conduct violates this section shall be
    jointly and severally liable with the minor for the amount of the
    fine imposed pursuant to this subdivision.
    (f) Notwithstanding Section 1463 of the Penal Code or any other
    provision of law, the fines collected for a violation of this section
    shall be allocated as follows:
    (1) Seventy-two and one-half percent of the amount collected shall
    be deposited in a special account of the county health department,
    to be used for bicycle, nonmotorized scooter, skateboard, and in-line
    and roller skate safety education and for assisting low-income
    families in obtaining approved bicycle helmets for children under the
    age of 18 years, either on a loan or purchase basis. The county may
    contract for the implementation of this program, which, to the
    extent practicable, shall be operated in conjunction with the child
    passenger restraint program pursuant to Section 27360.
    (2) Two and one-half percent of the amount collected shall be
    deposited in the county treasury to be used by the county to
    administer the program described in paragraph (1).
    (3) If the violation occurred within a city, 25 percent of the
    amount collected shall be transferred to and deposited in the
    treasury of that city. If the violation occurred in an
    unincorporated area, this 25 percent shall be deposited and used
    pursuant to paragraph (1).
     

  2. Cliff notes on Motorbike? :p
     
  3. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    Thanks for the post on the electric bicycle law ... I don't see any provisions for mandating that an electric bicycle must have tail lights, head lights (like a motorcycle headlights), signal lights, brake lights, or horn.

    So, I'm assuming that I don't need those things, even if my bicycle travels faster than 20 mph.

     
  4. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Please be aware that the pertinent part quoted above is the California Bicycle Code. The quoted federal law defines what is legally a bicycle as opposed to other forms of powered transport for purposes of commerce only - it DOES NOT supersede or over-write any individual state, county, or municipal code.

    That law, a days loss of work to appear in court, a finding by the court and quite likely a fine or worse will show you that STATE LAW CONTROLS for establishing the legality of any given type of motorized bicycle where you live.
     
  5. Over-speed=Out of class

    vja, please understand that the 20 mph is not an "option" It is not a fun possibility, nor is it "if I want to".

    IF a cop knows the law, and IF you are over 20mph on an electric, you WILL be speeding even if you are on a 45 mph street!

    Always remember to think in Class, not posted speed limits.

    We do not need to raise the consciensness of the Law in the negative sense, you have already stated that you want 40-45 mph? If you have not abandoned this goal, please buy a Motor-scooter (vespa type), or small motorcycle, so that your goals are achieved, and that no-one will be blasting down the street Out of Class, messing it up for the rest of us who are willing to remain in class.

    Your ideas please?

    Mike
     
  6. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    With a moped license, would it then be legal to ride a motor-powered bicycle faster than 20 mph?
     
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    No. Does holding a commercial operators license for long haul trucking make your toyota mini pickup an 18-wheeler?

    A motor assisted bicycle is not a moped - it isn't likely built heavily enough, nor does it likely have the required lights, horn, etc - and most importantly, the lack of NHTSA certification of the design or the vehicle as a custom product in the class "moped" would be a problem.

    None of that is insurmountable, but by the time you do surmount the obstacles you will likely have spent more money, along with endlessly more time and skull-sweat on building a rather inadequate imitation of a moped.

    For your stated speed goals, I'd suggest that you research and build a replica board track racer, and seek registration of it under the California code as a "replica vintage/antique" vehicle.

    Or buy a light motorcycle.
     
  8. California Moped status

    Hi vja, in CA. a moped is allowed to do 30mph and no more, on level ground, and no-longer are we allowed to ride "two-Up" or Double. Whe I first looked at new mopeds in the late 70's it seemed we were allowed to ride double, I don't know when that changed.

    So IF you had a moped plate, your max speed is now 30mph. Anything more than that (legally) would require a Motor-Driven Cycle, or MotorCycle. This would come with all of the corresponding fees, license is at least 40.00 per year, AND insurance, no riding in Bike Lanes, etc.

    Mike
     
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