Never has there been a more exciting time to own an electric bicycle in Vermont. As the nation’s first state to initiate buying incentives, our brave little state is again renewing successful tax credit program for all who seek to own and operate electric bicycles.
With many more electric bike operators on the road, and many more ride-ways and pathways being created and protected for riders, it’s important to be aware of the local laws governing the use of electric bicycles.
Vermont law pertaining to electric bikes, or “e-bikes,” is not dissimilar to the laws governing the use of regular bicycles, or “pedal bicycles,” or other motored vehicles – with a few key differences.
Under Title 23 Chapter 13 § 1136a, “electric bicycles shall be governed as bicycles under Vermont law, and operators of electric bicycles shall be subject to all of the rights and duties applicable to bicyclists under Vermont law.”
E-bikes can be ridden anywhere pedal bicycles are allowed, including highways, bicycle lanes, and bicycle or multiuse paths. However local authorities and the State reserve the right to prohibit all classes of e-bikes for safety reasons. In order for this prohibition to happen, notice must be issued and a public hearing must first take place.
Like most motored vehicles, speedometers are required by Vermont law for all class 3 e-bikes, which is defined as any e-bike that can travel up to 28 mph. And, like most motored vehicles, an age restriction is imposed on operators of class 3 e-bikes. Those under 16 are permitted to operate classes 1 and 2 e-bikes. However, unlike motor vehicles, operators of e-bikes do not have to register their vehicles, hold a certificate of title or an operator’s license. E-bikes are also not subject to inspection the way other motor vehicles, such as cars or all-terrain vehicles, are.
Vermont law mandates that e-bikes must comply with all equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles promulgated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, specifically that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the operator stops pedaling or applies the brakes.
Vermont law also mandates that any “after-market” tampering or modifications to an e-bike’s motor so as to affect the speed capacity of the bike are absolutely prohibited unless the e-bike is appropriately re-labeled declaring the change in classification.
To learn more about the Vermont tax incentives, visit Vermont’s General Assembly website here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2024/H.479.
With the use of electric bikes ever trending upwards, so, too, have injuries involving these bicycles. If you have been injured by an e-bike and seek compensation for treatment for your injuries, do not hesitate to be in touch.
Hiring an attorney to negotiate your E-Bike accident claim costs you nothing.
Our team has built a reputation for compassionate and fierce advocacy on behalf of our clients. If you or someone you know has been the victim of someone else’s poor driving, you can reach Kramer Law by calling a 802-257-2221 or using our quick and easy contact form. We are also conveniently located in downtown Brattleboro at 42 Park Place if you would prefer to stop by.
As our client, we will take care of all of the legal, privacy and insurance related issues surrounding your case so that you are able to recover and work towards a brighter and better future.