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Arizona Legislature passes e-bike bill

Published April 19, 2018

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Arizona will become the ninth state in three years to enact the industry's model e-bike legislation if, as expected, Gov. Doug Ducey signs a bill the state Legislature passed this week.

The Arizona House on Tuesday passed HB2266 in a 48-10 vote, with two representives absent. It passed the state Senate last week on a 28-0 vote. The bill defines three classes of e-bikes, similar to laws on the books eight other states: Colorado, California, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Arizona advocates expect Ducey to sign it into law in the coming weeks.

E-bikes in Arizona are classified as motorized electric bicycles currently but defined in terms of cubic centimeters and not watts, with a 20 mph assisted speed limit. The legislation would give riders of Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bikes the same rights of the road as traditional bicyclists. Similar to the other states' laws, the Arizona legislation would require e-bikes to display a sticker with their class. Local jurisdictions still would have the right to prohibit operation on bicycle paths, and Class 3 e-bikes would be restricted to on-road usage, whereas Class 1 and 2 e-bikes may be ridden on bike paths and other multiuse paths.

"The three-class e-bike system was embraced by Arizona legislators as a sensible way to manage and regulate electric bike usage in the state," said Morgan Lommele, e-bike campaigns manager for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes. "We're grateful to our coalition of retailers, manufacturers, advocates and interested legislators who together got this bill through. A special thank you to Brandee Lepak of Global Bikes and Chris Cocalis of Pivot."

Lepak, who owns three Phoenix-area Global Bikes stores, is also board chair for the National Bicycle Dealers Assocation. She said, "I think this success speaks volumes about what you can accomplish when a community comes together to push for common goals and interests ... This will be a tremendous economic driver for our state, through increased participation, due to eliminating confusion with clearly defined classes of e-bikes.

"This will help us sell more bikes and get more people outside enjoying our great state."

Pivot Cycles' president Chris Cocalis got involved when Lepak and Lommele reached out to him after the bill failed to pass the House on the first attempt.

"They knew we were starting to work on e-bikes and wanted to know if we could get involved. At the same time, an e-bike enthusiast named Dwight Spence had contacted PeopleForBikes because his local trail system in North Scottsdale had put up signage marking the area as closed to e-bikes," Cocalis said. "Brandee was able to get a meeting with the speaker of the House. We all pushed pretty hard but were still unable to get anything done in time to meet the deadline for this legislative session. However, Dwight had some experience with passing bills and had some other legislative contacts. He was really undeterred and went about contacting the head of the transportation committee. We had a conference call with him and it turns out that he is a fan of e-bikes and told us what he felt he would be able to accomplish and he was able to make it happen."

E-bike industry members say they have seen sales increases in each state as the model legislation has been enacted, similar to the sales bumps in the 1990s when many states passed mandatory bike helmet laws for children.


Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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