California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 875


Introduced by Assembly Member Harper

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Jones, Steinorth, and Waldron)

February 26, 2015


An act to amend Sections 406, 21207.5, and 24016 of the Vehicle Code, relating to low-speed electric bicycles.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 875, as introduced, Harper. Low-speed electric bicycles.

Existing law defines a motorized bicycle in one case as a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets specified requirements, including that it has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts, is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level, and is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.

This bill would redefine this type of “motorized bicycle” by, among other things, renaming it a “low-speed electric bicycle,” stating that it can have either 2 or 3 wheels, lowering the maximum power output to 750 watts, and requiring that it weigh no more than 80 pounds. The bill would exempt a low-speed electric bicycle from the prohibition on the operation of a motorized bicycle on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established as provided, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail. The bill would also make conforming changes.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 406 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
2read:

3

406.  

(a) A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is a two-wheeled
4or three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for
5propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely
6by electrical energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor
7that produces less than 4 gross brake horsepower and is capable
8of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30
9miles per hour on level ground.

10(b) Abegin delete “motorizedend deletebegin insert “low-speed electricend insert bicycle” isbegin delete alsoend delete a
11begin insert two-wheeled or three-wheeledend insert device that has fully operative pedals
12for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that
13meets all of the following requirements:

14(1) Has a power output of not more thanbegin delete 1,000 watts.end deletebegin insert 750 watts
15(1 hp).end insert

16(2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than
1720 miles per hour onbegin delete ground level.end deletebegin insert a paved level surface, when
18ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds.end insert

19(3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device
20when human power is used to propel thebegin delete motorized bicycleend deletebegin insert deviceend insert
21 faster than 20 miles per hour.

begin insert

22(4) Has a weight of not more than 80 pounds.

end insert
begin delete

23(4)

end delete

24begin insert(5)end insert Every manufacturer ofbegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycles,
25as defined in this subdivision, shall provide a disclosure to buyers
26that advises buyers that their existing insurance policies may not
27provide coverage for these bicyclesbegin delete andend deletebegin insert, andend insert that they should
28contact their insurance company or insurance agent to determine
29if coverage is provided.

30(c) The disclosure required under paragraphbegin delete (4)end deletebegin insert (5)end insert of
31subdivision (b) shall meet both of the following requirements:

32(1) The disclosure shall be printed in not less than 14-point
33boldface type on a single sheet of paper that contains no
34information other than the disclosure.

35(2) The disclosure shall include the following language in capital
36letters:

37“YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES MAY NOT PROVIDE
38COVERAGE FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING THE USE OF
P3    1THIS BICYCLE. TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS
2PROVIDED YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE
3COMPANY OR AGENT.”

4

SEC. 2.  

Section 21207.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
5read:

6

21207.5.  

Notwithstanding Sections 21207 and 23127begin delete of this
7codeend delete
, or any other provision of law,begin delete noend deletebegin insert aend insert motorized bicyclebegin delete mayend deletebegin insert,
8other than a low-speed electric bicycle as defined in subdivision
9(b) of Section 406, shall notend insert
be operated on a bicycle path or trail,
10bikeway, bicycle lane established pursuant to Section 21207,
11equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, unless it is within
12or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local authority or the
13governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction overbegin delete suchend delete
14begin insert thatend insert path or trail permits, by ordinance,begin delete suchend deletebegin insert thatend insert operation.

15

SEC. 3.  

Section 24016 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

16

24016.  

(a) Abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle described
17in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:

18(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements
19for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
20(16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the
21National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1,
22et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle
23Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven
24cycles.

25(2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged
26or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a
27manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or
28mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to
29disengage or cease to function.

30(b) All of the following apply to abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert
31 bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:

32(1) begin deleteNo end deletebegin insertA end insertperson shallbegin insert notend insert operate abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert
33 bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened
34bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

35(2) A person operating abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle
36is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

37(3) A person operating abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle
38is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial
39responsibility, driver’s licenses, registration, and license plate
P4    1requirements, and abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle is not a
2motor vehicle.

3(4) Abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle shall only be
4operated by a person 16 years of age or older.

5(5) Every manufacturer of abegin delete motorizedend deletebegin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle
6shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing
7requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety
8Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).

9(c) begin deleteNo end deletebegin insertA end insertperson shallbegin insert notend insert tamper with or modify abegin delete motorizedend delete
10begin insert low-speed electricend insert bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section
11406 so as to increase the speed capability of the bicycle.



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