As we begin to live healthier and more eco-friendly lives, we might run into electric bikes. The past few years have been a true breakthrough when it comes to the electric bike market, and the prices have been dropping too. If you’re interested in riding electric bikes, you must know your legal obligations.
How does the state of Alabama declares what an electric bike is.
The state of Alabama has a pretty simple definition of electric bikes - it is a “motor-driven cycle” with no more than five brake horsepower, and it has to weigh less than 200 pounds when fully equipped. That means that it does not fall into the same category as regular bikes.
Alabama doesn’t have a straightforward categorization of electric bikes, as most other states do, but since they are classified as motor-driven cycles, you must know that they are subject to licensing and registration. Alabama is quite strict when it comes to this.
How powerful can my bike be? Alabama has no restrictions when it comes to motor power. However, all riders are instructed to ride carefully while having other people in mind.
Do I need a license or insurance? Alabama state electric bike laws regulate licensing - you must apply for a motorcycle license and note a “B” restriction if needed. These restrictions apply to people who aren’t old enough to operate motorcycles but are allowed to ride mopeds, scooters, and electric bikes.
Do I need to wear a helmet? If you are younger than 16, you have to wear one, no matter whether you’re the driver or the passenger. Of course, other riders should take helmets into account too.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? To ride an electric bike in the state of Alabama, you must be older than 14.
Can I ride on the road? The Alabama state electric bike laws suggest riders always position themselves to the far right when they ride on the road. You should not count on sidewalks or bike paths as riding terrain. If you intend to ride on the highway, your brakes need to work properly.
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? Yes, but always position yourself to the far right.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Absolutely. In addition to that, you must wear shoes, and you have to get a headlamp if you want to ride during the sunset or the sunrise. Otherwise, you’re a danger to other drivers.
What about electric mountain bikes? The state of Alabama doesn’t have any eMBT policies currently, but if you decide to ride your mountain bike, make sure to consult your local police station or the local land management agency.
Electric bikes can be more fun than traditional bikes, but also more dangerous due to the higher speed. Make sure to follow the guidelines and use common sense to protect yourself and others.