PeopleForBikes made steady progress in national electric bike legislation
Boulder, Colorado (Brain)-PeopleForBikes enters 2020, and its momentum is to eventually pass universal e-bike regulations in each state.
Over the past year, the Bicycle Advocacy Group, with the assistance of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (now merged with the organization), helped its "model legislation" be passed in 12 states. In the past four years, a total of 11 states have passed legislation, including three-level electric bicycle models. This year has made a good start. After six years of fighting, New York is closer to adopting an electric bicycle legislation.
PeopleForBikes Morgan Lommele, director of national and local policy, believes that there are several factors for a breakthrough in 2019.
Financial and technical support for the bicycle industry.
PeopleForBikes legal and regulatory expertise.
The understanding of the state legislator is very important, that is to open new venues to attract more people to ride bicycles.
The "two-party nature" of the problem-national laws need to keep pace with modern technology.
An integral part of the small business/bicycle store, that is, bad e-bike laws hinder local e-bike sales.
"That's really huge," Lomel said of last year's success. "This year, if we get 10-12, it will be a huge victory."
According to PeopleForBikes, it is important to pass standardized e-bike laws in each state. Therefore, the management of e-bikes is similar to traditional bicycles, and consumers and retailers are aware of the e-bike laws in their states.
Lommele said: "What is the law of our research on electric bicycles, if it is really bad." "Like electric bicycles tied to motorcycles, even technically, it is not allowed to ride in that state. That Is our first step. Defining them as motorcycles is the most harmful."
Rommeler said that when a state considers an electric bicycle to be a motorcycle, it needs to register, which means showing proof of ownership and insurance.
She said: “E-bikes don’t have a VIN, so you can’t bring them to DMV and register.” “No state is actively doing this, but that’s what we’re solving: cancel those bad laws.”
Lomel said that to do this requires playing a political game. She said that sometimes hiring lobbyists, and working with "really great retailers" and receiving education are key. "Education is the biggest crux, but it is also the part that we can really surpass quickly, because we said that the level 2 electric bicycle is still a bicycle with a governor, which will turn off the electric motor. This is not a motorcycle. Main The difference is that it must have an operable pedal. It is manufactured according to the bicycle product standard. Even if you have a throttle, the throttle will travel at a maximum speed of 20 mph, and any part that exceeds this speed is a motorcycle. Every state will encounter this problem, but it is really easy to eliminate this idea, especially when you ride a car."
The three-level model simplifies the US electric bike market. Type 1 bicycles provide motor assistance only when the cyclist depresses the pedal and closes at 20 mph. Type 2 bicycles have a throttle-driven motor that can be turned off when reaching 20 mph. Category 3 bicycles only provide assistance when pedaling and are closed when reaching 28 mph. PeopleForBikes stated that Level 1 and Level 2 bicycles should be allowed where bicycles are available, and Level 3 should only be allowed on the road.
Lommele said: "I have no hard facts, but there are rumors that I heard from many suppliers that once the law comes into effect, retail sales will double or triple." "It makes sense." If you walk into the store and are not sure whether it is a bicycle or a motorcycle, and the law is not sure, you will ask the person in the store, "Where can I ride this thing? "There is indeed no clear answer, which may hinder sales. Imagine wanting to buy a car without knowing whether the car on each street is legal?"
Matt Devlin can prove this. Devlin, the owner of the Mad Dog Bike for three hours outside of New York, is hampered by the state's confusing electric bike laws. Electric bikes are not allowed in New York, but pedal assistance is allowed in the city.
"My potential electric bike customers are usually elderly people seeking exercise," Devlin said. "Most people are completely unaware of the legality of cycling in the state. I have asked the bike company to contact me to choose an electric bike product line that they do not understand New York State law or ignore."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed the state parliamentary bill in December, which gave all e-bike courses the same road use rights as state-of-the-art traditional bicycles. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo His plan was announced in January, and the plan is expected to be approved in April. Although the legislation defines different types of bicycles (throttle assist with a maximum speed of 25 mph), Lommele said she is optimistic.
She said: "Actually, I feel better about this (legislative) meeting than the past five meetings." "And, if we only define level 1 and level 2, it is not a home run, but, This is much better than the current law."
The focus of the second category of differences is the improved throttle-assisted electric bicycle, which is favored by urban food delivery staff, but does not match any category.
Lommele said: "A good policy will cover all three categories, and then a separate definition for this type of electric bicycle."
In addition to New York, Lommele's optimism about the passage of the law this year includes several Southeastern states. Confidence comes from last year’s success, including Texas.
"It took some time," Lomel said of Texas. "I had to go there to meet with the lawmakers, but this is a bipartisan collaboration. We have more Republican supporters than Democrats. We don’t always talk about bicycles first. You’re talking about small business issues. There is really no rhythm or The reason is that one state is easier to pass than another.
"We are working hard to combat the Southeast region: Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana. Several states like North Carolina and Montana, we hope to get more attention this year , We will have to wait until next year. This is a long race. One of our main topics is that we need each state to have the exact same e-bike laws, because each state has similar driving laws and bicycle laws ."