LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BRAIN) — The state of Arkansas has signed into law a new electric bicycle bill, HB 2185, making it the fifth state in the U.S., after California, Utah, Tennessee and Colorado, to pass e-bike legislation modeled after a pioneering California measure to create three classes of e-bikes. A similar measure is expected to pass the Arizona Legislature soon.
The bill, signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, carries the same provisions that are in the other bills: defining the three classes of low-speed electric bicycles, labeling all bikes, and a local "opt-out" provision to regulate e-bikes as is appropriate locally.
The bill ran generally unopposed through the Arkansas legislature, with only two nays out of the House and full support from the Senate, said Morgan Lommele, e-bike campaigns manager for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes Coalition.
“This shows that these bills are logical steps to resolve confusing and onerous e-bike laws throughout the U.S., and promote friendly bicycling policies and sales environments for e-bikes,” she added.
The BPSA and PeopleForBikes are actively working on e-bike bills in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut and New York for the 2017 legislative session. As many as 10 states could have e-bike legislation on the books by year’s end.
The industry has underwritten these legislative efforts, working with local advocates in key states, such as SRAM’s Randy Neufeld in Illinois and Trek in Wisconsin.
E-bike suppliers are promoting the classification system to standardize the regulation of e-bikes across the country, which in many states have an ambiguous legal status or are technically illegal.