Rules and Etiquette for Ebikers

In this post, we will cover common practices and etiquette for e-bikers. Not all of this falls under the law but may be more part of biking culture. Be sure to check and see what laws there are in your country/region about biking. 

 

Classification Sticker

In the US, and many other places, you may be required to have a classification sticker on your ebike. 
For more info, look here:

 https://peopleforbikes.cdn.prismic.io/peopleforbikes/c0de5d31-ded3-4e43-8ad9-401a0bc0083c_ebike-classification-stickers.pdf

 

Where to Ride

 

When you're biking on the road, you have several options depending on local laws. Be sure to check your country/region's laws around biking and ebiking, but in most cases here is where you can ride:

The Street

 

While not everyone prefers riding up with the cars, it is perfectly fine to do so in most places. You will need to be aware of traffic laws and signs in order to keep up with traffic smoothly.

Bike Lanes

For most places, this is fine on most ebikes.

Trails

Unless it is specifically stated at the start of the trail or anywhere on the trail, ebikes are normally fine. Be sure to double-check the rules on that trail.

 

Where Not to Ride


The Sidewalk

 

Pedestrians need access to the sidewalk without having to hurriedly move out of their way. Many pedestrians could have disabilities that make it hard for them to notice us, or hurt to quickly move. So, unless it is a multi-use space, it is common practice to get off your bike and walk. 

Using a Shared Space

If you find you have to share a space with pedestrians, be sure to be verbal when you need to pass, and use phrases like "I'm on your left." If they don't move, it could be they didn't hear you or that they don't understand you. You can always ride off the shared space and then back on if that's the case.

Right of Way

When you're biking, in most places, you want to think of yourself as a car when it comes right away. Always yield to pedestrians and follow traffic signals. 

 

Signals

Signals aren't very commonly known, and hopefully, with this post more people will know about them. When you're biking, you don't normally have light turn signals, so instead, ebikers use their arms to signal to other people when and where they are turning. For more info, check this piece on thebikeleague.org out:
https://bikeleague.org/content/signaling-and-scanning

Visibility

When you're biking at night or in low visibility you're going to want to have lights on your bike on both sides and your helmet. If you can, also wear reflective material. Doing this is legally required in some places, but generally, a good idea even if it isn't the law. 

Consider this in fog, evenings, and nights, 

Want to Know More?


To find more info on specific laws or safety guidelines around ebike, check out these two sources. They are a great start to your research:

 

To find out more, start with these helpful websites and then pop back here:

 

https://www.peopleforbikes.org/electric-bikes/policies-and-laws

 

https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety

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1 comment

Riders of ebikes are not required to put the classification sticker on, the manufacturers and distributors are, so saying “you may be required” is totally wrong. The law referenced is only applicable in California, as it is a California law, not a Federal law, and there is no Federal law that requires classification stickers as this is handled by the States. The street is where your supposed to ride. Riding on sidewalks is against the law in most places unless there is a local ordinance that allows it. It would be nice if the article had actually links instead of having to copy and paste to go to other places, but I likely will never visit again since this article really is not helpful and contains erroneous information.

CJohnson

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