SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “Department” the following definition:-
“Electric bicycle”, shall mean a bicycle or tricycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts that meets the requirements of 1 of the following 3 classes:
(1) Class 1 – an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour;
(2) Class 2 – an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour;
(3) Class 3 – an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour; and
by inserting after the word “hour.”, in line 265, the following sentence:- The definition of “motorized bicycle” shall not include an electric bicycle; and
by inserting after the word “motorcycle”, in line 270, the following words:- or electric bicycle; and
by inserting after the word “include”, in line 288, the following words:- electric bicycles or.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 90D of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “include”, in line 25, the following words:- electric bicycles or.
SECTION 3. Chapter 85 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 11B1/2 the following section:-
Section 11B3/4. For the purposes of this section, the terms “electric bicycle,” “class 1 electric bicycle,” “class 2 electric bicycle” and “class 3 electric bicycle” shall have the same definitions as in section 1 of chapter 90. The terms “bike path,” “bike lane” and “bike route” shall have the same definitions as in section 1 of chapter 90E.
Electric bicycles and operators of electric bicycles shall be subject to the following restrictions:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an electric bicycle or an operator of an electric bicycle shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and be subject to all of the duties, of a bicycle or the operator of a bicycle. Electric bicycles may be ridden on a street, road, way, bike lane, bike path or bike route that is open for use by bicycles; provided, however, that:
(i) A municipality, local authority or state agency having jurisdiction over a bike path or shared-use path may prohibit the operation of class 1 or class 2 electric bicycles on that path;
(ii) Class 3 electric bicycles shall not be ridden on a bike path or shared-use path unless permitted by the municipality, local authority or state agency having jurisdiction over that path;
(iii) This subsection shall not apply to a trail designated for nonmotorized traffic if such trail has a natural surface tread made by clearing and grading the soil and no surfacing materials have been added. A municipality, local authority or state agency may regulate the use of electric bicycles on such a trail within its jurisdiction;
(b) Electric bicycles shall comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission established in 16 C.F.R. 1512.
(c) On and after January 1, 2020, manufacturers and distributors of electric bicycles shall apply a label that is permanently affixed, in a prominent location, to each electric bicycle containing the classification number, top assisted speed and motor wattage of the electric bicycle;
(d) A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of an electric bicycle, unless they appropriately replace the label required by subsection (c);
(e) Class 3 electric bicycles shall be subject to the following additional restrictions:
(i) No person under the age of 16 may operate a class 3 electric bicycle. A person under the age of 16 may ride as a passenger on a class 3 electric bicycle that is designed to accommodate passengers;
(ii) All operators and passengers of class 3 electric bicycles shall wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards provided by either the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or the American Society for Testing and Materials, or standards subsequently established by those entities. A violation of this clause shall not be used as evidence of contributory negligence in a civil action;
(iii) All class 3 electric bicycles must be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed the bicycle is traveling in miles per hour;
(iv) A municipality or local authority having jurisdiction over streets, roads, or ways may prohibit the operation of class 3 electric bicycles on those streets, roads or ways.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation may promulgate regulations regarding electric bicycles including, but not limited to, regulations concerning their safe operation and proper labeling. The secretary of transportation shall submit proposed regulations to the clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives and to the joint committee on transportation not later than 30 days before their effective date.
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