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Ohio passes e-bike law, becomes 11th state with industry-supported codes

Published December 11, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BRAIN) — Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill making Ohio the 11th state with an e-bike law supported by the industry. 

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It took four years for PeopleForBikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association to shepherd legislation onto the desks of 11 governors, but the groups said they are just getting started. They hope that New Jersey will become No. 12 before the end of the year, and they are aiming to pass the laws in 19 more states in 2019.

Ohio's law is similar to those passed in the other states in establishing three classes of e-bikes, in line with the groups' model legislation.

"When the partnership began in 2015, e-bike regulations were a complete patchwork, confusing for retailers, consumers and agencies," said Morgan Lommele, the e-bike campaigns manager for the groups. "The goal of the partnership is to ultimately create a better retail and riding environment for e-bikes."

The 19 states with e-bike legislative campaigns in the works for 2019 are Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

"It's a system that manufacturers, dealers, consumers, lawmakers and agencies can agree benefits the industry, customers, cities and states," said Larry Pizzi, chair of the BPSA electric bicycle committee and vice president of the BPSA. "Passing this law in 11 states in four years is phenomenal, and we're proud to have created a national standard that states now want to adopt for consistency with their neighboring states.

"This work is funded by above and beyond contributions from e-bike and systems manufacturers. Because we're unified in our mission and objectives, the bike industry is becoming a major public policy player and changing the market environment," Pizzi added.

Pizzi said the campaign in each state has its own strategy, coalitions and timelines. And he said funding is keeping the partnership from launching additional campaigns where opportunities exist across the country. 

Pizzi urged industry members to join the campaign. Besides a seat at the strategy table, contributors receive a "heavily discounted" registration for the 2019 E-Bike Summit, he said.

He can be reached at larry@bpsa.org. More information about the PeopleForBikes/BPSA e-bike initiative is available at peopleforbikes.org/e-bikes. E-Bike Summit registration is at eventbrite.com/e/2019-bpsa-peopleforbikes-e-bike-summit-tickets-52870562275.

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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