When electric bikes were first introduced, they were treated as a novelty by most governments and law enforcement agencies. As long as riders were safe, they didn’t get any additional regulation beyond those affecting bicycles. However, electric bikes have exploded in popularity in recent years. This has led to a lot more regulatory interest around them. It can be difficult to know exactly what the local law of the land is. Below is some information about riding an electric bike in LA.
Electric Bike Laws in Los Angeles
The general rules for electric bikes in Los Angeles come from the state. Like most places, California follows the three-class model for electric bikes. Class one bikes are low-speed bikes with a pedal-assist mode. Class two bikes have a throttle and do not require the rider to pedal. Class three bikes have a high-speed pedal-assist mode.
Classes one and two are typically regulated like standard bicycles. Although, there are some special local restrictions on class two bikes. Class three electric bikes can only be ridden by users who are at least 16 years old and wearing a helmet. Class three bikes are restricted from class one bicycle paths.
Typically, if you are riding around LA, you can take any electric bike on the road and designated bike lanes. You should wear a helmet always, but it is only required for class three bikes. Additionally, you should always follow the rules of the road.
Recent Changes in Local Communities
The real electric bike uphill battle comes with local regulations. Many communities in LA as well as other cities in the metropolitan area have their own rules. These can be quite confusing as you are riding around.
For example, recently, to prevent accidents on electric bikes Manhattan Beach stepped up its enforcement. In particular, electric bikes are not allowed on the Strand, a popular path following the waterfront.
Conversely, Huntington Beach announced in 2021 that electric bikes would be allowed along the beach path. In short, it can get quite confusing to keep track.
Navigating the LA eBike Laws
The good news is that a lot of communities understand that it can be a little confusing. Therefore, the majority of trails have signs marking them. If you know what class of electric bike you have, you should be able to determine where you are allowed to be.
It also helps to follow general safety practices. Give pedestrians plenty of room and try to avoid buzzing past other cyclists. Similarly, make sure that you are wearing a helmet and have an appropriate bike for your needs. A tall person riding an electric bike for small person will always be awkward and a little dangerous, for example.
Get Started Riding Today
With the right electric bike, you will be ready to hit the streets of Los Angeles. It can be easy to get around the city if you know the rules. While you don’t need to memorize every trail’s restrictions, knowing bike classification and general rules for safety will help a lot. Plus, it is a good idea to know the latest laws for your local area.