What Are Florida's Electric Bike Laws?
Electric bikes or e-bikes are designed to function as traditional bikes, don’t compromise the rider’s safety, and can be easily used by bicyclists who can’t ride traditional bikes due to a disability, age, or limited physical fitness. Many states have antiquated laws for regulating e-bikes, and these laws also apply to combustion engine vehicles like scooters and mopeds.
Fortunately for Floridians, a bill was passed in July 2020 that provided riders of e-bikes the same rights and duties as traditional bicyclists. Here’s what you should know about the electric bike laws in Florida.
- There are three classes of electric bikes in Florida:
- Class 1 e-bikes are those with motors that give assistance only when the cyclist is pedaling and stop giving assistance when they reach 20mph.
- Class 2 e-bikes are those with motors that can be exclusively utilized for propelling the bike and stop giving assistance when they reach 20mph.
- Class 3 e-bikes are those with motors that only give assistance when the cyclist is pedaling and stop giving assistance when they reach 28mph.
- Electric bike riders are not subject to the same law provisions related to financial responsibility (auto insurance requirements), motor vehicle and driver’s licenses, title certificates, vehicle registration, off-highway vehicles, or off-highway motorcycles.
- Electric bike riders can ride wherever bicycles are allowed, such as in bicycle lanes, streets, roadways, highways, multiuse paths, and shoulders, among others.
- All electric bike operators and passengers below 16 years old must wear a helmet. Those older than 16 don’t have to wear helmets, but they should consider doing so. The adult responsible for the underage rider or passenger must ensure that the underage individuals wear their helmets.
- Electric bike owners are allowed to modify their bikes as long as the bikes stay within their original class system and do not go over 750 watts. If they change the wattage, class, or top speed changes, they must also change the label showing the e-bike’s details.
- E-bike riders are subject to the same DUI penalties as bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers if they are found riding their bikes while drunk or drugged. In Florida, the standard BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is 0.2 for people under 21 years old and 0.08 for those who are older. Penalties can include a fine of not more than $2,000, up to nine months of jail time, community service, and others. In addition, DUI charges on an e-bike will count towards the charges on the biker’s regular driver’s license if applicable.
- State agencies, towns, or states that have jurisdiction may restrict where electric bikes can be ridden. When in doubt, always check the local government for their e-bike rules and regulations.
Talk to an Experienced Clearwater Bicycle Accident Attorney Now
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, don’t delay in reaching out to the law office of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos for legal guidance. You can find out more about your options for compensation by discussing the circumstances of the accident with our skilled Clearwater bicycle accident attorney. Please send us an online message or call 727-441-9030 to set up a free evaluation of your case.