Electric Bike Laws in New York

Written by: Injured 914

What You Need to Know About Riding an E-Bike in NY

In April 2020, New York legalized the operation of bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on certain streets in the state. However, before you venture out on your electric bike you need to know the rules and regulations. Failure to comply with these safety measures can result in serious injury to yourself or others.

At Injured 914, we represent individuals who have been seriously injured in e-bike accidents throughout Westchester County, NY. Our experienced legal team can help you understand your rights and pursue legal action against all liable parties. If you were involved in an accident with an electric bike, contact our office at (914) 368-7168 to schedule a free consultation.

What Is an Electric Bike?

Electric bikes or e-bikes are referred to in several different ways but in New York are generally considered bicycles with electric assist or pedal-assist bicycles. As noted by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, they are bicycles  generally equipped with electric motors and operable pedals. 

The state of New York classifies bicycles with electric assist into 3 different categories:

  • Class 1: Bicycles with electric motors that provide the rider assistance only while pedaling. They stop providing assistance when the bike reaches a speed of 20 MPH.
  • Class 2: Bicycles with electric motors that can be used exclusively to propel the bike up to 20 MPH.
  • Class 3: These are industry-defined e-bikes that have an electric motor that works only while a rider is pedaling. The motor stops providing assistance at a speed of 25 MPH (the max speed allowed by New York City code). 

Individuals do not need a license to operate an electric bike and do not need to register the vehicle. 

What Restrictions Are There on E-Bikes in New York?

The state of New York imposes several restrictions on the operation of electric bicycles. It is important to note, however, that additional limitations may be placed by local authorities. Before riding an e-bike in your area, it is strongly recommended that you consult with your local ordinances.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • All classes of e-bikes may only be operated on bike lanes and streets with speed limits of 30 MPH or less.
  • Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes may be operated at a speed not exceeding 20 MPH.
  • Operation of e-bikes on a sidewalk is strictly prohibited unless expressly authorized by local ordinance.
  • The motor of an e-bike cannot exceed 750w. 
  • Only individuals 16 and older may operate an e-bike.
  • Helmets are recommended for everyone but required if you are under the age of 18 or the e-bike can go over 20 MPH. 
  • Helmets are required for delivery cyclists regardless of age.

E-bikes when operated unsafely can result in significant harm to the rider and others. If you are involved in an e-bike accident, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

Retaining an E-Bike Accident Lawyer

Were you injured in an electric bike accident in Westchester County or the surrounding areas? Contact our office at (914) 368-7168 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. At Injured 914, we have recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Call now to discuss your case directly with an attorney.

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