dogman wrote:You must be kidding!!!!
How on earth can somebody who has been on ES this long think that fed law has a thing to do with using an ebike on the public street or bike trails?
Well ... look at the "Purpose" and "Need For Legislation" and "Summary" of the law ...
107th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 107-5
LOW-SPEED ELECTRIC BICYCLES
... Purpose and Summary
The purpose of H.R. 727 is to amend the Consumer Product
Safety Act to provide that low-speed electric bicycles are
consumer products subject to that Act. The bill removes low-
speed electric bicycles from the definition of ``motor
vehicle'' within the jurisdiction of the Department of
, where such bicycles are required to be
regulated in the same manner as motorcycles. The bill then
amends the Consumer Product Safety Act to transfer jurisdiction
over low-speed electric bicycles to the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC), where those bicycles would be regulated
similarly to human-powered bicycles.
Background and Need for Legislation
Electric bicycles are in use worldwide, with the market
rapidly evolving over the last several years. Electric bicycles
generate no pollution, are almost silent, and can greatly
increase the recreational and transportation options for
Some electric bicycles (power-assisted) provide motorized
assistance pedaling, although they cannot be operated solely by
motor power. These bicycles, like all non-powered bicycles, are
regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Other electric bicycles (power-on-demand) can be operated
solely by an electric motor, but still use lightweight frames,
are used in a manner similar to non-powered bicycles. They have
maximum motorized speeds not greater than those typical of a
reasonably athletic bicyclist while biking.
Typical users of low-speed electric bicycles include older
and disabled riders who do not have the physical strength to
ride up hills without motorized assistance, law enforcement
agencies who use electric powered bicycles to increase their
patrol range, and commuters who cannot afford automobile
transportation or that work in traffic-congested areas.
Power-on-demand, low-speed electric bicycles are currently
regulated by the Department of Transportation by the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Section 30111 of
title 49, U.S. Code, requires the Secretary of Transportation
to prescribe motor vehicle safety standards. The term ``motor
vehicle'' is defined by section 30102(6) as ``a vehicle driven
or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use
on public streets, roads, and highways * * *.''
If NHTSA were to enforce its regulations on low-speed
electric bicycles strictly, the bikes would be required to have
a number of safety features, such as brake lights, turn
signals, automotive grade headlights, rear view mirrors, and
license plates, that are prohibitively costly, unwieldy, or
consume too much power for a low-speed electric bicycle. It is
estimated that the application of motor vehicle regulations to
power-assisted bicycles would increase the retail price of
these bicycles by at least $200-$300 and make them less
manageable and more unwieldy for consumers.
Since low-speed electric bicycles are designed not to
exceed the maximum speed of a human-powered bicycle, and they
are typically used in the same manner as human-powered
bicycles, electric bicycles shouldbe regulated in the same
manner and under the same agency (the CPSC) as human-powered bicycles.
H.R. 727 contains an intergovernmental mandate as defined
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) because it would
preempt any state law or regulation that has more stringent
requirements for the regulation of low-speed electric bicycles
than those required under the bill.
House Report 107-5 - Low Speed Electric Bicycles
The intent of the law is to allow, nay ... to promote, the use of electric bicycles on American streets.
From a legal standpoint, the intent often carries even more weight than the "wrote" of the law.
For me ...
This, combined with the New York States annual, typically unanimous, passing of an eBike Bill, by the Assembly, makes me almost anxious to see an eBike case argued in New York State court.
Bill dies, is killed, in the Senate ... every year!
See -New York State eBike Bill