WEST virginia Legislature
2022 regular session
House Bill 4069
By Delegates Tully, Paynter, Booth, D. Kelly, Gearheart, Householder, Ferrell, Haynes, Maynor, Sypolt, and Mazzocchi
[Introduced January 13, 2022; Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-11-8 and §17C-1-70 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to modifying e-bike regulations to more closely comport to federal law; creating new definitions of e-bikes in West Virginia; permitting Class 2 e-bikes to use throttles; allowing e-bikes to be operated on public lands to as to increase their usage and accessibility; and stating that users of e-bikes will not be given special privileges not otherwise given to similarly situated riders.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED.
§17C-1-70. Electric bicycles; definitions.
“Class 1 electric
bicycle” means every electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides
assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide
assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. “Class 3 electric
bicycle” means every bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance
only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the
bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour. “Electric bicycle” means
every two-wheel or three-wheel bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and
an electric motor of less than 750 watts that is a Class 1 electric bicycle or
a Class 3 electric bicycle.
For the purpose of this section, the term “electric bicycle” means a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts. There is a “three-class system” to differentiate between the models and top-assisted speeds of electric bicycles.
“Class 1” electric bicycles have a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
“Class 2” electric bicycles have a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
“Class 3” electric bicycles have a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.
“Throttle” refers to a device that controls the flow of power to the electric motor on an electric bicycle for the purpose of propelling the electric bicycle.
ARTICLE 11. OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY VEHICLES.
§17C-11-8. Electric bicycles; requirements; exclusions; age restrictions.
(a) The operator of an electric bicycle has all of the rights and privileges and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle subject to this chapter, except as otherwise provided by this section and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
(b) A person owning or operating an electric bicycle is not subject to the provisions of §17A-1-1 et seq., §17B-1-1 et seq., or §17D-1-1 et seq. of this code, relating to registration, title, driver’s license, and financial responsibility requirements.
(c) A person may not
tamper with or modify an electric bicycle so as to change the motor-powered
speed capability or motor engagement between pedal-assist and throttle-assist
types of engagement. If a motor on an electric bicycle is modified so that a
limit established in §17C-1-70 of this code is exceeded, that vehicle is no
longer an electric bicycle. The provisions of this subsection are not
applicable to a modified electric bicycle operated solely and exclusively on a
person’s own property (d) (c) An electric bicycle must comply with the
equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the United
States Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. Part 1512). (e) (d) The motor on an electric bicycle must
disengage or cease to propel the electric bicycle when the operator stops
pedaling, or when the operator applies the brakes and stops pedaling. (f) (e) A Class 3 electric bicycle must be
equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the electric bicycle is
traveling in miles per hour Class 2 bicycles are permitted to use a throttle
to propel the bicycle. (g) (f) Electric bicycles operated on public
roadways, public bicycle paths, public multiuse paths, and other public
rights-of-way where bicycles are permitted to travel are subject to the
following restrictions: (1) A Class 1 electric
bicycle may be used in places where bicycles are permitted to travel,
including, but not limited to, public roadways, public bicycle paths, public
multiuse trails, and public single-use trails. (2) A Class 3 electric
bicycle may not be operated on a bicycle path, multiuse trail, or single-use
trail unless it is within a highway or roadway: Provided, That the
provisions of this subdivision are not applicable to a bicycle path, multiuse
trail, or single-use trail if the municipality, local authority, or governing
body of a state agency that has jurisdiction over the bicycle path, multiuse
trail, or single-use trail expressly permits that operation
(1) Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Electric bicycles being used on roads and trails where traditional, non-electronic bicycle use is allowed will be given the same rights and privileges of a traditional, non-electric bicycle and will be subject to all of the duties of a traditional, non-electric bicycle. This rule intends to facilitate increased access to public lands that may otherwise be inaccessible to those with disabilities, health issues, or age-related limitations.
(2) Electric bicycles will not be given special access beyond what traditional or non-electric bicycles are allowed. For example, electric bicycles will not be allowed on roads or trails or in areas where traditional, non-electric bicycle travel is prohibited.
(3) This subsection may not be construed to limit the authority of the owner of a private way or the owner of private property to restrict or allow the operation of electric bicycles on the way or property.
(h) (g) Age restrictions related to the operation
of electric bicycles are as follows:
(1) A person under 16 years of age may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle;
(2) A person under 15
years of age may only be a passenger on a Class 3 electric bicycle, including
as a passenger within any attachment to the vehicle designed to transport an
additional person, including a child, provided the operator of the electric
bicycle is 18 years of age or older; and (3) (2) A person under 15 years of age who is an
operator or passenger on an electric bicycle shall wear a properly fitted and
fastened bicycle helmet, pursuant to the Child Bicycle Safety Act, §17C-11A-1 et
seq. of this code. (i) (h) A person under the influence of alcohol or
controlled substances shall not operate a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to update the laws on e-bikes in West Virginia to more closely comport to federal law.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.