Reading full documents of laws, bills, constitutions, traffic rules and regulations, could be taxing for the reader. While it is important to know the law, sometimes all you need is a summary of key points to be aware of. And that is the purpose of this article. If you want to learn about the e-bike laws in the state of Texas, then you have come to the right place.
Whether you are about to make your first e-bike purchase, or you are already an experienced rider, knowing the traffic rules and regulations is very important for safety and organization.
E-bikes are regulated like traditional bicycles. They are usually allowed in places where regular bikes can be operated.
The state of Texas defines an electric bicycle as a bicycle with fully operable pedals, equipped with an electric motor not exceeding 750 watts, and with a top assisted speed of 28 mph. The top assisted speed refers to the speed at which the motor ceases to propel the bike or assist the rider.
Texas, along with 25 other states, follows the three-tiered class system to differentiate models and speed differences. These 26 states have similar definitions for an electric bike, and identical rules and regulations regarding it. The three-tiered class system is as follows:
Class 1: equipped with a motor that assists the rider only when pedaling, top assisted speed of 20 miles per hour or less
Class 2: equipped with a motor that may be utilized to propel the bicycle without pedaling, top assisted speed of 20 miles per hour or less
Class 3: equipped with a motor that assists the rider only when pedaling, top assisted speed of more than 20 but less than 28 miles per hour, must be equipped with a speedometer
A permanent label, applied by a person who manufactures or sells an e-bike, should be visible in a permanent location. The format is Arial font in at least 9-point type showing:
A person who makes modifications on the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric bike shall replace the label and show accurate information.
In compliance with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, a person who manufactures or sells an e-bike shall ensure certain equipment and manufacturing requirements.
Electric bicycles may not be prohibited on a highway that is primarily used by motor vehicles, or in an area which allows operation of non-electric bicycles under certain guidelines.
The rider of a Class 3 e-bike must be at least 15 years old. Riding as a passenger is exempt from this age restriction
There are NO registration, licensing, or insurance requirements for electric bikes.
Wearing of helmets are required for riders below 18 years old.
Show the applicable hand signals from the left side:
The rider who is moving slower than the other traffic shall position himself/herself as near as the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
Riding on the outside lane is possible if the lane is:
Safety equipment requirements and guidelines include:
Additional Notes: The state department or local authority has the power to make certain rules and regulations along its own jurisdictions.
You should be aware of the traffic law at all times for your own safety, and for others as well. By following the law, you can ensure everyone’s safety because you know how to properly act on the road. Abiding the rules would help you avoid legal troubles that could cause hefty fines and fees. You could also help other motorists because they will know how to respond to your actions - turning, stopping, switching lanes, etc.
The road belongs to everyone, and so is the shared responsibility. Have a safe and enjoyable ride with your electric bicycle!
Here is a quick summary on Texas E-bike Laws:
|Three-tier class system||YES|
|Permanent up-to-date label||YES|
|Speedometer||Class 3 e-bikes are required|
|Age Requirement||At least 15 years old only for Class 3 riders|
|License, Registration, and Insurance||NO|
|Helmet||For riders below 18 years old|
|Hand Signals||Show applicable hand signal|
|Road Positioning||As far to the right as possible; unless making a turn or hindered by a fixed or moving object|
|Safety Equipment||Approved front lamp, rear lamp, red reflector|
|Electric Mountain Bikes||Rules vary significantly, ride only on authorized trails|
|Local Authority||Can implement certain rules on its own jurisdiction|