Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 8. Regulation of Traffic
11/28/2021

§ 46.2-904.1. Electric power-assisted bicycles.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, an electric power-assisted bicycle or an operator of an electric power-assisted bicycle shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and be subject to all of the duties, of a bicycle or the operator of a bicycle. An electric power-assisted bicycle is a vehicle to the same extent as is a bicycle.

B. An electric power-assisted bicycle or person operating an electric power-assisted bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this Code relating to requirements for driver's licenses, registration, certificates of title, financial responsibility, off-highway motorcycles, and license plates.

C. 1. On and after January 1, 2021, manufacturers and distributors of electric power-assisted bicycles shall permanently affix a label, in a prominent location, to each electric power-assisted bicycle that they manufacture or distribute. The label shall contain the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage of the electric power-assisted bicycle and shall be printed in Arial font in at least nine-point type.

2. An electric power-assisted bicycle shall comply with equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 16 C.F.R. Part 1512.

3. All class three electric power-assisted bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour.

D. No person shall tamper with or modify an electric power-assisted bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric power-assisted bicycle, unless the label required by subdivision C 1 is replaced after modification.

E. An electric power-assisted bicycle shall operate in a manner such that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the rider stops pedaling or when the brakes are applied.

F. Except as set forth in this subsection, an electric power-assisted bicycle may be ridden in places where bicycles are allowed, including streets, highways, roads, shoulders, bicycle lanes, and bicycle or shared-use paths.

1. Following notice and a public hearing, a locality or state agency having jurisdiction over a bicycle or shared-use path may prohibit the operation of class one or class two electric power-assisted bicycles on such path, if it finds that such a restriction is necessary for public safety or compliance with other laws.

2. A locality or state agency having jurisdiction over a bicycle or shared-use path may prohibit the operation of class three electric power-assisted bicycles on such path.

3. A locality or state agency having jurisdiction over a trail may regulate the use of electric power-assisted bicycles on such trail. For purposes of this subdivision, "trail" means a trail that is specifically designated as nonmotorized and that has a natural surface tread that is made by clearing and grading the native soil with no added surfacing materials.

G. Each operator and passenger of a class three electric power-assisted bicycle shall wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the current standards provided by either the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or the American Society for Testing and Materials International. Failure to wear a helmet shall not constitute negligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence, or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a class three electric power-assisted bicycle, nor shall anything in this section change any existing law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any civil action, nor shall this section bar any claim that otherwise exists.

2020, cc. 59, 260.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.