An increasing trend in Florida cycling is the use of e-bikes or electronic-assisted bicycles, which require a rider to pedal to power the bike’s motor.
Unlike motorcycles, e-bikes lack hand throttles. Some of the e-bikes that are available in Florida, however, are capable of being powered even if a rider does not pedal. There are many reasons why e-bikes have become popular including the bike’s attraction to people who would normally not ride more conventional cycles.
As a result, the e-bike is used by a more diverse audience that bicycles that are not powered by a motor. This audience includes people who are not physically fit to the point of being able to ride an unassisted bicycle as well as people who find the e-bike an easier commute to work.
Accidents, however, can and do occur on e-bikes, which is why it is important that people who use these vehicles understand some of the important laws that come into play when accidents do occur. It is also important that people who are involved in e-bike accidents not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled Florida bicycle accident attorney.
Question # 1 – Do E-Bikes Require Licenses?
In the state of Florida, e-bikes do not require a person to have a special license or registration. Riders are also not required to have a special type of insurance. The lack of requirements, however, should not mean that riders should step on e-bikes unprepared. It is very important that people who plan on using e-bikes receive adequate training as well as obey all of the same rules and regulations that they would while riding a bicycle.
Question # 2 – What Are E-Bikes in Florida Considered?
Florida is just one of a handful of states that include e-bikes in the legal definition of bicycle. More specifically, Florida Statute 316.003(4) defines a bicycle as a two-wheeled vehicle that is primarily powered by human energy or a combination of human energy and electric power provided that the vehicle does not exceed greater than 20 miles per hour while traveling. This means that if you are involved in an e-bike accident in Florida, the law will view it the same as if you were riding a bicycle. This also often means that insurance applies to e-bikes in the same manner that it would to bicycles.
Question # 3 – Are There Any Safety Precautions About E-Bikes?
In the state of Florida, children under the age of age are prohibited from riding an e-bike. E-bikes over the age of 16, however, are not required to wear a helmet. This means that younger children should never be allowed to ride on or operate an e-bike. This also means that while you are not required to wear a helmet while using an e-bike, it is often a much better idea to do so.
Question # 4 – Where Can You Ride E-Bikes in Florida?
In the state of Florida, e-bikes are permitted to be operated in the same areas that conventional bicycles are. This includes any road or path on which bicycle travel is permitted including bike lanes, bike paths, and sidewalks. Some Florida communities, however, have their own ordinances prohibiting e-bikes. It is still a wise idea to follow all safety precautions regarding safe bicycle operation while riding your e-bike.
Speak with an Experienced E-Bike Attorney
If you are involved in an e-bike accident, the results can be particularly serious. Contact the office of Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, PA today for assistance with your case.
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