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AB-875 Low-speed electric bicycles.(2015-2016)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 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   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 406 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

406.
 (a) A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor that produces less than 4 gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
(b) A “motorized “low-speed electric bicycle” is also a two-wheeled or three-wheeled device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts. 750 watts (1 hp).
(2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level. a paved level surface, when ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds.
(3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle device faster than 20 miles per hour.
(4) Has a weight of not more than 80 pounds.

(4)

(5) Every manufacturer of motorized low-speed electric bicycles, as defined in this subdivision, shall provide a disclosure to buyers that advises buyers that their existing insurance policies may not provide coverage for these bicycles and, and that they should contact their insurance company or insurance agent to determine if coverage is provided.
(c) The disclosure required under paragraph (4) (5) of subdivision (b) shall meet both of the following requirements:
(1) The disclosure shall be printed in not less than 14-point boldface type on a single sheet of paper that contains no information other than the disclosure.
(2) The disclosure shall include the following language in capital letters:
“YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES MAY NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING THE USE OF THIS BICYCLE. TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS PROVIDED YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT.”

SEC. 2.

 Section 21207.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21207.5.
 Notwithstanding Sections 21207 and 23127 of this code, or any other provision of law, no a motorized bicycle may, other than a low-speed electric bicycle as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 406, shall not be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established pursuant to Section 21207, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, unless it is within or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local authority or the governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction over such that path or trail permits, by ordinance, such that operation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 24016 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

24016.
 (a) A motorized low-speed electric bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:
(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles.
(2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function.
(b) All of the following apply to a motorized low-speed electric bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:
(1) No A person shall not operate a motorized low-speed electric bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.
(2) A person operating a motorized low-speed electric bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
(3) A person operating a motorized low-speed electric bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver’s licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized low-speed electric bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
(4) A motorized low-speed electric bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.
(5) Every manufacturer of a motorized low-speed electric bicycle shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).
(c) No A person shall not tamper with or modify a motorized low-speed electric bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 so as to increase the speed capability of the bicycle.