Every state has its own laws on a variety of topics, from whether or not people can smoke indoors to drive while talking on a cellphone, to whether or not you need to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.
Most people aren’t familiar with the laws regarding normal bikes, let alone electric ones. They ride down the wrong side of the road, they don’t know the hand signals, let alone use them, and so on.
(Can I get a plug in here for common sense, as well? If you’re going to be riding a bike at night, at the very least wear a white or light-colored shirt so motorists can see you! Dressed all in dark clothing and riding the wrong way down a road in the middle of the night is just asking for trouble!)
Anyway, every state has its own laws regarding bikes, and that includes electric bikes. So if you purchase an electric bike from a dealer in your area, make sure they give you the list of rules governing that state. And if you intend to take your bike on a trip to a different state, make sure you get the rules for that state as well.
It’s not that easy to get these rules by trying to find a particular state’s law code on the web. You’d think they’d make it easy, but they don’t.
Visit this page to see links to the Department of Motor Vehicles page for each state…which may or may not include the laws for electric bikes!
Alternatively, visit Wikipedia’s page on the subject:
And at all times remember, safety should be your number one concern. If you accidently run someone over – you will need insurance to be able to pay their medical bills. Ask your insurance agent if this is covered in your homeowner’s policy, and get it in writing.
And if someone accidentally runs over you… getting a settlement from them may be a moral victory, but it won’t really give you your life and health back. So please, wear that helmet, dress in bright, glow-in-the-day clothing like chartreuse, and ride defensively.