Electric bicycles have been all the rage in the past few years, and the reason is simple – they are practical, useful, and eco-friendly as well. Do you know that, in the United States of America, there are no universal laws for the whole country? Today we are getting to know the West Virginia state electric bike laws.
How does the state of West Virginia declares what an electric bike is.
Electric bikes in West Virginia are treated just like traditional bikes are, which means that the same rules and guidelines apply to both.
There are three classes of bikes:
- class 1 electric bikes provide assistance when you are pedaling, and the maximum speed limit is 20 miles per hour
- class 2 electric bikes assist you when you engage the motor, and the maximum speed limit, in this case, is also 20 miles per hour – it is very important to note that the state of West Virginia does not recognize these bikes as bicycles
- class 3 electric bikes assist you when you pedal, but these bikes are more powerful – they can reach up to 28 miles per hour
How powerful can my bike be? There is no direct restriction on motor power, but the speed limits need to be followed as directed by traffic signs.
Do I need a license or insurance? Electric bikes in the state of West Virginia are not subject to licenses, insurance, registrations, or anything else. You can still get insurance as a personal choice, but it's not needed.
Do I need to wear a helmet? If you are under the age of 15, you have to wear a helmet. It doesn't matter whether you are a passenger or a driver, you need to have one.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? You must be over the age of 16 if you want to operate a class three bike and if you want to be a passenger, but you're under the age of 15, you will have to be on the bike with a driver that's older than 18.
Can I ride on the road? Electric bikes in the state of West Virginia are not allowed on sidewalks. If you are in doubt about roads and lanes or anything else, make sure to contact your local authorities for more answers.
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? If you are riding on the road, you most definitely need to ride in the same direction as the rest of the traffic. This ensures the safety and best visibility for everyone.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Yes, they need to – especially those meant for traditional bicycles. You must take care of others in traffic too.
What about electric mountain bikes? The West Virginia State Parks and Forest have no policies on electric mountain bikes, which is why you should contact them if you want specific information on a location you're interested in. Until then, make sure to check out some great eMTB rides such as the Cheat Mountain Loop, and the Hilly Billy Roubaix.
If you want to ride an electric bike, you need to acknowledge the rules and guidelines. We assure you that those change, so keep in touch with local authorities for things that might change.