Did you know that electric bikes are still not universally regulated in the United States of America? Today we are discussing the Idaho State electric bike laws in order to keep you and other e-bike lovers safe from all trouble and fines. Keep on reading to find more information on how to ride electric bikes safely in Idaho.
How does the state of Idaho declares what an electric bike is.
Idaho is one of the rare states in America that actually classifies e-bikes purely as electric bicycles. However, these electric bikes are treated very similarly to human-powered bicycles. There are three classes of electric bicycles and you need to know which class your bike belongs to because certain rules depend on bike classes.
class 1 electric bikes have a motor assisting you only when you pedal, and the speed limit you can reach is 20 miles per hour.
class 2 electric bikes have a throttle-powered motor, which means that you can get assistance even when you don't pedal. The speed limit remains 20 miles per hour in this case too.
class 3 electric bikes provide assistance only when you pedal, which makes this class similar to class 1, but the speed limit is now 28 miles per hour.
How powerful can my bike be? The motor of your electric bicycle should not exceed 750 Watts of power. It is considered that e-bikes more powerful than that create potential harm to other traffic members.
Do I need a license or insurance? You don't need to have any special documents for your electric bike. No licensing, no insurance, no registration.
Do I need to wear a helmet? In the state of Idaho, helmets are a must-have for bike riders under the age of 18. Other riders are also advised to have helmets for their own safety, but there will be no legal repercussions.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? Age restrictions are set only on class 3 electric bikes. People under the age of 15 cannot operate such a device, but they can be a passenger.
Can I ride on the road? If you are riding on the road, you have to ride on the far right. Electric bikes are also allowed on bike paths and trails, but you should contact your local land management to find more information on mountain trails.
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? You should ride in the same direction as the rest of the traffic.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? In the state of Idaho, electric bike drivers need to obey all traffic signs.
What about electric mountain bikes? Electric mountain bikes are considered motorized vehicles on federal lands, which is why they have access to motorized trails. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation actually allows class one and two bikes on many Idaho State park trails, including the Ashton-Tetonia multiuse-trails. You can check out some great rides such as the Big Casino-Little Casino Loop, Greenhorn Gulch, Peace Creek Summit, Sheep Creek Road, and Independence Creek Tour.
If you want to ride electric bikes, you are more than welcome to do so in Idaho. However, make sure to follow guidelines that will keep you and other passengers in the traffic safe and sound.