Ebikes are a new form of transportation and recreation and expectations for how and where they are used may be understood differently by people. Because modern ebikes are new on the scene, the proper way to behave was not something taught to us as children by a parent or teacher. Currently there is no certification, license, or insurance required for riding an ebike in most states. But by following general bike traffic rules and common sense ebike etiquette you can ride with confidence and comfort and assure the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road and trail.
What is Etiquette
According to the Oxford Language Dictionary etiquette is defined as:
“The customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group”
Talk about etiquette often focuses on behaving so people will like you, and there is some of that in ebike etiquette, having other road users, whether pedestrians or operators of cars, scooters, motor cycles, skate boards, or other bikes appreciate ebikes enough to make accommodations for them on the roads and trails. The other value of practicing etiquette is so there are common expectations and order. Following the rules, whether written or unwritten, will result in safety for everyone.
Rules of the Road for Cyclists
All users of bikes, whether “E’ or not, are required to follow the rules of the road. The League of American Bicyclists categorizes the rules and best practices into five categories. It is recommended that you follow these rules because your safety and the perception that people form about cyclist depends on you. The five categories are:
1. Follow the Law
Etiquette for Ebikes riders
In the US, ebikes are regulated at the state level and sometimes local municipalities will have their own rules which may be more restrictive. What we will cover here is what is allowed in the majority of states, which includes access to traditional bike/pedestrian infrastructure without any license or insurance requirements. To research what the laws are in your state consult with the resources available from People For Bikes.
To be a courteous and safe ebike rider follow these best practices:
Etiquette for Ebikes Riders in Bicycle Riding Groups
Etiquette for Ebikes on Trails
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