WEST virginia legislature
2022 regular session
Senate Bill 560
By Senators Maynard, Stollings, and Woodrum
[Originating in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; reported on February 9, 2022]
A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-1-70 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §17C-11-8 of said code, all relating to electric bicycles; defining terms; authorizing and regulating the use of electric bicycles; and setting forth requirements for electric bicycles.
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 2 electric bicycles” means every electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle and that is not capable of providing assistance when the electric 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, Class 2 electric bicycle, or a Class 3 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) 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) 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. (g) 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) (f) A Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3
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 (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 2 or Class 3 electric bicycle;
(2) A person under 15 years of age may only be a passenger on a Class 2 or 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) 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