LD 1222 Clarifying E-Bike Rules and Regulations Signed into Law by Gov. Mills
June 18, 2019 (AUGUSTA, Maine) – Gov. Janet Mills signed into law LD 1222 on Monday, clarifying the rules and regulations regarding electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) in Maine. The bill was introduced and sponsored by Rep. Deane Rykerson on behalf of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a non-profit education and advocacy organization that was instrumental in getting it passed.
The law states that on Maine roads, electric-assist bicycles are characterized as bicycles under the following classifications:
- Class I: Pedal-assist up to 20 mph
- Class II: Pedal-assist or throttle up to 20 mph
- Class III: Pedal-assist up to 28 mph
Each of these classifications come with a specific set of rules and regulations written to keep people on e-bikes safe and to maintain continuity on various types of trail systems and roadways throughout the state.
The law will permit Class I and Class II e-bikes on all roads, road facilities, and shared-use paths, where normal bikes may ride unless a trail manager chooses to prohibit them.
The law will prohibit Class I and Class II e-bikes on all single-track or minimally improved mountain bike-type trails unless a trail manager chooses to permit them. This restriction is consistent with the position of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) and is intended to put the question of e-bikes on trails under the control of local trail system managers.
Additionally, the law will prohibit Class III e-bikes from anything except on-road facilities unless a facility manager chooses to permit them. Therefore, Class III e-bikes are banned from multi-use trails unless explicitly permitted by the manager. This restriction is due to the speed at which Class III e-bikes can travel, and is intended to minimize potential user conflicts.
“The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is enthusiastic about the passage of LD 1222, as it clears up the legal ambiguity that previously surrounded e-bikes and made it difficult to enforce where they could or could not be ridden,” says BCM Assistant Director Jim Tassé.
“The passage of this law will inform and simplify the work of law enforcement officials, trail managers, and bike shop owners in Maine,” says Tassé.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is happy to have these rules and regulations in place so the use of e-bikes can safely and legally allow more people the opportunity to start or continue riding bikes, as well as keep folks active when age or physical conditions might otherwise be barriers.