Proposed Pennsylvania law would allow electric bikes without insurance, registration

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State Sen. Matt Smith announced legislation today that would clarify the rules for pedal-assist electric bicycles in the state vehicle code.

Senate Bill 997 would treat electric bicycles the same as regular bicycles, meaning riders are not required to have insurance or register the two-wheeler.

The need for an explanation arose when police officers began citing individuals driving pedal-assist electric bicycles, believing that riders should adhere to motor scooter rules that require insurance and registration, said Mr. Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon.

These new bicycles, typically priced at about $1,800, have become popular among senior citizens and those with disabilities. The electric bikes are mostly operated by pedals but allow for an electric motor to assist the rider when climbing up hills.

Most states already have similar laws in place, leading Mr. Smith to believe that this would help bring Pennsylvania into the 21st century.

"This is really about making sure Pennsylvania laws are reflective of today's world," Mr. Smith said.

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Jessica Tully: jtully@post-gazette.com, 412 263-1159 and on Twitter: @jessalynn4.


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