“How is that person going so fast? They make it look so easy!” you think as you huff and puff on your bicycle, regretting the soreness you know you’re going to feel in the morning.
Chances are they’re not an Olympian; they’re probably riding an E-Bike, also called electric bicycle or electric-assisted bicycle.
Electric bicycles are booming in popularity in South Florida and bike retailers are rejoicing. But what are they? Electric bicycles have a small electric motor integrated into the gears that can assist and empower each pedal-stroke to propel you further, faster, and with much less effort. Because of these benefits, E-Bikes are becoming quite popular, whether you are getting into exercise, using your bike to run errands, or hoping to switch up your daily commute. E-Bikes open the world of bike travel to the average person, especially in South Florida. No Tour de France experience is necessary!
In Florida, eBikes are classified as bicycles. You can learn all about important Florida Bike Laws on our site.
This means that E-Bike rides have all the rights, privileges and duties of a cyclist. You can ride them on the street and, where local law permits, on the sidewalk. Since they are still primarily powered by the rider, they are considered a type of bicycle and not a motorcycle, moped, or scooter (which are primarily powered by a motor).
However, Florida law uses three classifications of E-Bikes that are useful to know (Florida Law 316.003(23)):
If an E-Bike falls outside these classifications, it’s likely that it may be considered a moped or a motorcycle in Florida.
E-Bikes have many advantages and benefits. That’s why they are becoming so popular in South Florida. However, there are definitely some things worth considering to see if an E-Bike is a good fit for you. Below are some of the upsides and downsides to E-Bikes in Florida.
As stated above, Florida Law classifies E-Bikes as bicycles. This means that E-Bikes may ride on sidewalks as long as they follow the regulations. Florida Law makes it very clear that E-Bikes are allowed on sidewalks (Florida Statute 316.1995, see also 316.20655). However, it also makes it very clear that local governments such as cities and counties can make regulations to limit or prohibit the use of E-Bikes on trails, sidewalks, and multi-use paths.
For example, in Miami Beach E-Bikes are prohibited from all sidewalks in the city and along the Beachwalk, South Pointe Park and Pier, Marina Baywalk, and Lincoln Road Mall.
It is best to check your local regulations about riding E-Bikes on the sidewalk, and if you are in a crowded area such as cities, stick to the streets. You don’t want to run into a pedestrian going 20 mph on an E-Bike!
No, you do not need a license to ride an E-Bike in South Florida. Florida law clearly exempts E-bikes from laws regarding licensing, registration, and titles (Florida Law 316.20655(2)). Just like a bike, you can hop on an E-Bike any time you like.
That depends on what you mean and how safe you want to be. According to Florida law, “An electric bicycle or an operator of an electric bicycle is not subject to the provisions of law relating to financial responsibility” (Florida Law 316.20655(2)).
That means insurance is not required by law. However, you may want to maintain an insurance policy that provides coverage in the event you are injured while riding a bicycle. In Florida, an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist policy is best, and can provide coverage for you if the motorist who hit you doesn’t have proper insurance. Often, your car insurance should extend to protect you while on a bike or E-Bike, but you can always ask your car insurance company to confirm.
While riding an E-Bike in Florida, you are not required to wear a helmet if you are over 16 years of age.
However, as E-Bike accident injury lawyers, we recommend you wear one anyway. The safety benefits cannot be overstated—it could be the difference between life and death. Read more about helmets and our recommendations here.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries while riding an E-Bike in Florida, a personal injury lawsuit may be the only way that you can fully recover financially.
Many injured riders are eligible to seek compensation from the expenses related to the accident, including emergency medical treatment and long-term care needs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and lost wages, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering.
The Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A. is here to help bicyclists and E-Bike riders who have been injured by careless or negligent drivers start the process of financial recovery. If you’ve been hurt in an E-Bike accident you need to speak with an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954) 755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and all points in between.