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Everything You Should Know About Florida’s Electric Bike Laws
Everything You Should Know About Florida’s Electric Bike Laws

Everything You Should Know About Florida’s Electric Bike Laws

Florida’s electric bike laws might seem a little overwhelming to understand completely. However, understanding e-bike rules in Hillsborough County and beyond is much easier now. In 2020, Florida and many other states clarified the rules regarding e-bikes. Now, it’s much easier to understand who can use an e-bike and where. This helps protect you from accidents. It also aids you in case you should suffer one and need a Tampa e-bike accident attorney on your side.

As the Sunshine State, Florida is the perfect place to get outside and enjoy riding on your e-bike. Tampa, specifically, has become a haven for cyclists, named one of America’s most bike-friendly cities in 2016. You can choose from many bike routes, from more urban trails like the Tampa Riverwalk to those with more wilderness like Pinellas Trail.

Some of these trails are nearly 40 miles long and a joy to explore. With e-bikes becoming more accessible, getting out and exploring these long trails is even more possible. In a word, no matter your age or fitness, with an e-bike you can now explore Tampa on two wheels.

What Classifies An E-Bike?

Since 2020, more than half of the United States have made a consensus around e-bike classifications. Having these definitions in place has helped to solidify how laws affect riders of e-bikes. These clarifications allow Tampa e-bike accident attorneys to protect the rights of victims of personal injury. Electric bicycles have been placed into three categories based on their technology and features.

Class 1 E-Bikes

Class 1 e-bikes have an electric motor that only engages while the rider is pedaling. It stops assisting once the bike reaches 20 miles per hour. These bikes are pedal-assisted only, meaning they have no throttle.

Class 2 E-Bikes

There is also a limit of 20 miles per hour on class 2 e-bikes. Different to class 1 bikes, class 2 are throttle-assisted instead of pedal-assisted.

Class 3 E-Bikes

Class 3 e-bikes can go as fast as 28 miles per hour. They are pedal-assisted only and have no throttle.

If I Ride An E-Bike Am I A Driver Or A Pedestrian?

Cyclists exist in a gray area between both vehicles and pedestrians. This can be confusing when it comes to understanding the laws, as any Tampa e-bike accident attorney can tell you. Electric bicycles are treated as normal bicycles in regard to the laws in Florida. However, all bicycles, including e-bikes, are considered “vehicles.”

As such, they must adhere to the same rules of the road as a motor vehicle when riding in traffic. This means stopping for stop signs and red lights. It also includes giving the right of way to pedestrians. If you see someone who is traveling on foot, you must give them the right of way.

Remember that following traffic laws is essential to keep you safe. It is also a huge help if you need a Tampa e-bike accident attorney to represent you after a crash.

Does An Electric Bicycle Need To Be Registered Or Insured?

It may be confusing that e-bikes are classified as vehicles. In regards to registration or insurance, they are not applied to e-bikes. Therefore, don’t worry about needing to register your new e-bike or seek insurance. This is similar to bicycles in that, despite being called vehicles, they are human-powered. This is true of e-bikes of all three classes. A motorized bicycle that sits outside of the class framework is classified as a moped or motorcycle. These vehicles have their own set of rules.

If you are involved in an accident but there’s no personal insurance, how do you recover your costs? If another party was responsible, you may be due compensation. A Tampa e-bike accident attorney can help you understand how to receive compensation from the other party’s insurance.

Where Am I Allowed To Ride My E-Bike?

While bicycles must follow the rules of the road, they do have some special differences from cars and motorcycles. If there is a bike lane, the cyclist must use it unless there is something physically dangerous blocking the path. When there is no dedicated bike lane, cyclists are required to ride to the far right under almost all circumstances. There are exceptions made for one-way streets, making turns, and if any danger or debris is present.

The restriction for people under 16 to ride e-bikes was lifted. A rider of any age can now enjoy an electric bicycle. Helmets are not legally required for cyclists in the state of Florida but any Tampa e-bike accident attorney would recommend them. However, a rider under the age of 16 is legally required to wear a helmet.

When it comes to whether or not you can ride on a sidewalk, it can be particularly confusing. While bicycles are allowed on sidewalks under general Florida law, local restrictions can be put in place. In Tampa, the municipality has its own laws that restrict bicycles on sidewalks in certain areas. Under code 25-185, it is illegal to ride on sidewalks when in a business district. Additionally, if there is signage that prohibits a bicycle on the sidewalk you must heed it.

If you’re unsure whether or not you can ride your e-bike on the sidewalk, it’s better to play it safe than sorry. If you were to get in a bike crash, having followed the law will help your Tampa e-bike accident attorney win your case. Therefore, always do your best to ride your e-bike according to traffic laws and signage.

What If I Have A Crash On My E-Bike?

If you should experience a crash with your e-bike, it’s very important that you follow these steps:

Call the police

It is fundamental to report an accident to the police. This helps to hold the negligent party accountable. It provides proof of what happened that is documented in an official and undeniable way.

Collect contact info

Be sure that you get contact info and insurance details from any party involved in the crash. It is also ideal to collect any contact info from witnesses.

Document the scene

After the crash, take photos and videos if it is safe to do so. Be sure to take wide photos of the scene and up-close details such as damage to your property. It is important to also photograph yourself and any injuries. This is also a great time to collect any witness statements.

Seek medical attention

Even if you have no immediately apparent symptoms, be sure to see a doctor. Many injuries from crashes don’t present themselves at first but can be serious, such as internal bleeding.

Keep a record

Be sure to guard all documents related to the crash in a safe place. Your Tampa e-bike accident attorney will use these records to help your case. This includes police reports, insurance correspondence, and medical reports. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal of how the accident has affected your life and your health. Make a note of any changes to your ability to work, days out from your job, physical symptoms, and emotional anguish. This can help provide a framework for you to receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Reach Out To A Tampa E-Bike Accident Attorney Today

Our team of dedicated Tampa e-bike accident attorneys is here to help you in the wake of your e-bike crash. Trying to receive your fair payment from an insurance company can be a nightmare without an attorney on your side. A personal injury attorney is specially equipped to navigate these challenges. With our years of expert knowledge, we will fight for you to receive the compensation you justly deserve. With compassion and understanding, our attorneys will support you through every aspect of the process. Your initial consultation is free so don’t delay! Our Tampa e-bike accident attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf.

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