Nebraska has traditionally not been a very bike-friendly state. Antiquated laws, such as not being allowed to ride on the road, if there were bike paths or bike lanes, trails alongside the road, have been on the books in Nebraska up until 2016.
That said, there have been some recent changes to the laws that make Nebraska ebike laws more friendly towards cyclists and more in line with the ebike laws in other states.
Nebraska classifies an Ebike as being powered by pedals or an electric motor up to 750 watts but limited to no more than 20 mph. This means that Class 1 and Class 2 Ebikes are permitted in Nebraska, but higher-speed Class 3 E-bikes are not allowed.
In Nebraska, e-bike owners can purchase e-bikes and don't require licensing, insurance, or registration.
Nebraska's law does not specifically require helmet usage while a person is on an electric bike.
Currently, there are no age restrictions for a person to ride an electric bike. Parents or guardians are responsible for the actions of children under the age of 16.
The state of Nebraska classifies Ebikes as motorized vehicles and, as such, they should obey the same rules of the road as motorists. One restriction to be aware of though, is that bicycles are not allowed to ride on interstate highways or freeways in Nebraska. (a freeway is defined as a fully access-controlled highway with “no” at-grade crossings).
All bicycles, electric or regular, must ride single file on roadways and stay as far right as possible while traveling with the flow of traffic. If you must cross or turn from a highway or roadway you are required to "signal" your turn if you leave the shoulder and you must yield the right-of-way to all other motor vehicles.
Although Nebraska has laws that require reflectors and lights on bicycles for riding at night, the Nebraska State Patrol does not recommend riding a bicycle on rural state highways at night due to the higher speeds and reduced visibility.
A bicyclist riding a bicycle on a sidewalk or across a roadway or shoulder in a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Nothing in this subsection relieves the bicyclist or the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise care.
Understanding the classifications of electric bikes is also important. Most states adopt these guidelines for regulations to make sure that electric bikes are well regulated to prevent any accidents and protect others around you.
Here are the three classifications of electric bikes:
Class-1 E-bikes are pedal-assist-powered electric bikes that may reach a maximum speed of 20 mph with human assistance.
A pedal-assist device will detect pedal tempo by measuring the amount of force exerted by the pedal. This design makes great use of bike trails, other public trails, or street biking.
Class 2 models are motorbikes powered by pedals OR hand throttle that travel at a max speed of 20 mph. Although they are no quicker than a Class 1 e-bike, they often are seen being considered motorized vehicles based on the fact that they have a hand-controlled throttle.
Category 3 Electric Bicycles is a pedal-powered OR hand-throttle electric bike capable of speeds up to 28mph or faster speeds using human power.
Class 3 electric bikes are currently restricted in Nebraska due to the fact that they can reach speeds over 20 mph without human assistance.
Some states near Nebraska have very different Ebike laws. Be sure to check out our other articles about Kansas Ebike Laws, Colorado Ebike Laws, and Missouri Ebike Laws if you are planning a trip to one of these neighboring states.
Additionally, check out our article on Federal US Ebike Laws to learn about how federal law may affect your next E-bike ride.
Electric bicycles are considered motorized vehicles as far as Federal Public Land access is concerned. When riding on federal land you are not permitted to ride on "non-motorized" only trails.
You are legally allowed to ride on sidewalks in Nebraska. See the restrictions regarding crosswalks above for further information.
As ebike riders are not required to have a license or registration, DWI laws are not applicable in Nebraska. That said, at the discretion of the officer, you may receive a ticket for things such as; being drunk in public, riding with undue care and attention, or similar infractions if you are drunk enough to be a danger to yourself or others.
Yes, it is now legal to ride electric bikes on roads in Nebraska. The law used to prohibit riding on roads if there was a bike lane or other trail alongside the road but that law was changed in 2016.
All of our e-bike rules and regulations are based on each local state's e-bike laws. In addition, our information and details regarding these e-bike laws are not permanent and are subject to change, especially when there are updates and missed out details.
We highly encourage that you check with local authorities or check the website of your State, County, City, and other agencies.
See more information about bike laws in every state with our article: Ebike Regulations State Specific
If you want to ride around within the bike trails, bike paths, or the city streets, we have our best recommended electric bikes that are great for ideal for different types of rides.