A court ruling has found that some electric bicycles cannot be legally used on NSW roads – this despite the fact that the Roads and Traffic Authority previously advised owners they could.
The law specifies that “pedal cycles” with “one or more auxiliary propulsion motors” up to 200 watts do not require registration.
Almost 10,000 E-bikes may have been sold in NSW, therefore, on the assumption that all users had to do was wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road.
However, these cyclists are not only being stopped by police and issued citations for “driving” an unregistered vehicle, but the citations are actually being held up in court. The fine is $500
A spokeswoman for the Roads and Traffic Authority has denied that they had ever advised that E-bikes could be used without registration. Since the bikes did not meet safety standards, she claimed, they could not be registered. They could be used only in backyards and on private roads.
An outraged citizen commented:
“It’s the cheapest form of transport past the pushbike … It makes bike travel possible for people who don’t have the levels of fitness or strength to ride a normal pushbike. It just seems absurd … when we are worrying about anything from peak oil to greenhouse gases to parking, to make these things illegal.”