As electric bike interest steadily grows it is good to know that there are numerous trails and biking activities in Mississippi. As an e-bike rider, it’s important that you know your local e-bike regulations before heading out for your first ride.
E-bike laws and regulations are put in place to protect riders and other road users as well. However, there are no firm national E-bike regulations so it is up to you to learn the state specific rules that apply where you want to ride.
Like most states in the United States, Mississippi also adheres with the 3 tier classifications of electric bike to make a clear distinction in the e bike’s speed.
Class 1: Electric bikes with 15 to 20 miles per hour top speed and activated with pedal assist fall into the class 1 category. These e-bikes are powered by at least 250 watts motor either from mid-drive, rear hub, or rear wheel.
These units are relatively low speed and they share the same privilege as conventional bikes and can be used on bike lanes, off-road, trails, bike paths, and on the streets.
Class 2: E-bikes that fall into class 2 categories are quite similar to class 1 only with some minor differences such as the throttle assist and its max speed reaching 20 miles per hour.
They are also relatively slow in speed allowing them to have the same benefits as the class 1 e-bike and conventional bike. However, they have few restrictions depending on the local e-bike regulation.
Class 3: Class 3 electric bikes feature pedal-assist or throttle and reach 28 miles per hour as a max speed. These electric bikes have more restrictions from certain bike paths, bike trails, and especially on city streets and other paved roads have given that these motorized bicycles are faster compared to class 1 and 2 electric bikes.
The state of Mississippi recognized electric bikes the same as conventional bikes. According to House Bill no. 1195, “an electric bicycle is a vehicle to the same extent as a bicycle”, which is not considered a motorized vehicle but “An electric bicycle is not a motor vehicle”.
Good thing that Mississippi doesn’t require any license, registration, certificate of title, or insurance requirement to operate an electric bike compared to motorized vehicles.
They are absolutely legal in the state of Mississippi however there are some restrictions depending on the classification of e-bike you own. Basically, classes 1 and 2 share the same privilege and access be it on off-road, trails, city streets, and paved roads.
However, class 3 e-bikes are more restricted. Class 3 e-bikes might not be applicable to certain roads. So, it’s important to read the local electric bike regulations first which can be found on every local government website.
According to the updated house bill, people below the age of 16 are not permitted to use a class 3 electric bike but they can ride only as a passenger.
Mississippi and Florida don’t have a max power limit as of now. However, there are currently six states that permit electric bikes with a max power of 1000W. These states include Virginia, Oregon, Minnesota, Kansas, Georgia, and Oklahoma.
1000W and beyond are considered high-powered e-bikes. Some states may be more strict when it comes to these types of electric bikes and they might not be accessible to certain roads.
If an electric bike exceeds 1000 watts of power, some states considered it as a scooter or moped bike which is why some states limit its e-bike power output to 1000w.
Although class e-bike regulations are mostly the same. However, it varies from state to state. Some states are strict on implementing e-bike regulations and others are yet to establish updated regulations.
As per the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, currently, they don’t have a policy or rules regarding electric bikes. The only policy, for now, is the restriction on some roads. Other than that, it doesn’t have any e-bike regulations.
Also, when riding on public land, always consult with the regulations of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks particularly if you’re riding an eMTB.
True enough that e-bike have health benefits and it’s fun to use an electric bike while having an adventure. Also, knowing the e-bike regulations are important. But the other important thing to have is to become safe while riding and while also abiding by the law.
Here are some safety tips to consider when riding your e-bike:
Observe the road signs on and off the road – Always be smart while riding an electric bike. Observing the road signs, traffic, and staying on the correct lanes ensures your safety as well as the pedestrians or other electric bikes coming to and fro. It will also make you visible to cars approaching. More importantly, know your e-bike regulations.
Always wear a helmet – Although some state requires you to wear the helmet otherwise you’ll be penalized and pay some fees. But requirement or not, wearing a helmet can have a huge difference especially when you had some accident.
Make sure your e-bike battery is fully charged – It’s important to check your battery level every time you use your e-bike. Using your e-bike when the battery’s not full charge can become a big problem especially if you’re going to use it on a daily basis.
Always abide by the laws especially if you're riding with an electric bike even though that its regulation is relatively new. However, the important thing is you know your local e-bike regulations, particularly in e-bike given that local various vary from different states. Also, the best way to keep informed is to consult with your local government's law.