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Michigan Environmental Council applauds passage of e-bike legislation

Oct 19, 2017
Today the State Legislature approved a three-bill package (HB 4781, 4782 and 4783) which creates a framework for the legal operation of electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) in Michigan. Under the previous law, e-bikes were treated the same as a moped, requiring licensing and insurance.

“This is a win for people of different ages and abilities who can now use e-bikes for daily transportation,” said Sean Hammond, MEC deputy policy director. “This law will encourage healthier lifestyles while reducing the vehicle emissions that fuel climate change and worsen air quality. We are excited to see Michigan ahead of the curve, pushing forward a thoughtful policy that reduces our reliance on automobiles and encourages new forms of sustainable transportation.”

Michigan joins other states, including California and Iowa, in addressing gaps in existing e-bike laws.

The new laws will allow all classes of e-bikes to travel in bike lanes but are prohibited from operating on rustic trails. Class 1 e-bikes (which travel up to 20 mph using pedal assist) will be allowed on paved multi-use trails unless local communities opt out. The new law provides communities a clear process for changing e-bike regulations when and if the need arises.

MEC partnered with member groups League of Michigan Bicyclists and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, as well as other allies including the Michigan Mountain Biking Association and the North Country Trail Association, to better understand e-bike issues and help craft the package of bills.

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Contact
Katie Parrish
(517) 999-0425
katie@environmentalcouncil.org
RELATED TOPICS: transportation policy
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