Christian Angelo 9-27-21
Everyone knows what a bicycle is, but not all are familiar with the rising star - the electric bicycle. E-bike sales have been booming for the past years, most especially during this time of pandemic. Since more and more people are buying e-bikes, new legislation is being passed in order to regulate the use and to ensure the safety of the people.
In this article, you will know how the state of New York defines an electric bicycle, what types it accepts, and what are the important traffic rules that every rider should follow.
In the simplest terms, an e-bike is a bicycle with electric assist. It has an integrated electrical system composed of an electric motor that is less than 750 watts, a battery, a sensor, a display, and/or a speedometer. In New York, e-bikes must measure no more than 36 inches wide, have fully operable pedals, and meet the federal equipment and manufacturing requirements. An e-bike must also belong to one of the three classes:
Class 1 electric assist bicycle: electric assistance can only be activated when the rider is pedaling, the motor ceases to provide assistance when the bike reaches 20 miles per hour.
Class 2 electric assist bicycle: electric assistance can be activated whether or not the rider is pedaling, the motor ceases to provide assistance when the bike reaches 20 miles per hour or the brakes are applied.
Class 3 electric assist bicycle: only available within a city that has a population of one million or more, electric assistance can be activated whether or not the rider is pedaling, the motor ceases to provide assistance when the bike reaches 25 miles per hour or the brakes are applied. Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed in New York City.
|Law||Class 1||Class 2||Class 3|
|Motor wattage||Less than 750 watts||Less than 750 watts||Less than 750 watts|
|Helmet||15 below||15 below||15 below|
Here is the full summary of electric bicycle rules in New York:
Why should I follow the law?
The simplest answer is that the road belongs to everybody. You do not own the road, thus you share it with everyone else. Obeying the law promotes safety for everyone. As an e-bike rider, it is important to follow the law to predict each other’s behavior. You don’t just ride your e-bike the way you want it because it would be too dangerous for everyone.
Safety gears must be equipped all the time. Although there is a certain age for requiring helmets, it is still highly recommended to wear one no matter the age. You should also make sure that you are visible to all motorists and pedestrians. This will allow them to see you ahead and act accordingly.
If you also want to avoid hefty fines, then you should be careful on the road. Observe traffic rules diligently to avoid unfortunate accidents. Accidents involving yourself or others may cause serious physical injuries and personal damages. Being extra careful mitigates the risk of an accident.
Always remember that a fun ride is a safe ride!