New California Traffic Laws

Several new traffic laws went into effect in California on January 1, 2016.

california traffic lawsAmong them:

Bicycles and Slowed Traffic
The existing traffic law requiring slow vehicles to pull over when impeding vehicles has been extended to include bicycles. Individual riders and groups of bikes will now have to pull over whenever five or more vehicles are being slowed by them.

Traffic Incident Reporting
The new law requires that any traffic crash with combined property damage of $1000 must be reported to the DMV via SR-1 forms. The previous dollar amount was $750.

Earbud Use
While operating a motor vehicle or bicycle, drivers and cyclists cannot wear headsets or ear buds that cover, rest on or are inserted in both ears unless it’s a hearing aid.

California’s Electric Bike Laws

California’s new electric bicycle law divides electric bikes into three legally-defined category types based on the e-bike’s top speed and whether it has a throttle.

AB1096: Electric Bicycles

The law defines electric bicycles as those with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. It also creates three classes of electric bicycles based on their motor speed and level of electric assist.

• Class 1 e-bike, or low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle, is equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

• Class 2 e-bike, or low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle, is equipped with a motor that can exclusively propel the bicycle and that cannot provide assistance when the bike reaches 20 mph.

• Class 3 e-bike, or speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle, is equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph. Operators of Class 3 e-bikes must be 16 or older and wear a helmet. Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from paths, lanes and trails unless specifically authorized by a local ordinance.

The bill prohibits tampering with or modifying electric bicycles to change their speed capability unless the classification label also is changed.

E-bike operators do not need a driver’s license, registration or license plate to ride them, though they do need to abide by existing traffic laws.

See the full text of California Bill AB 1096

 

california electric bike lawsThe new California electric bike law goes into effect January 1, 2016.

Spoke Insurance in 50 states

electric cyclery laguna beach california

You can now insure your electric bike in all 50 states.

spoke electric bike insuranceSPOKE BICYCLE INSURANCE was the first to market and the first of its kind, stand alone comprehensive primary bicycle insurance program available to individual riders in the United States.

Backed by some of the largest national insurance companies, Spoke offers coverage for damage, theft, liability and even roadside assistance across the United States.

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