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How Are Electric Bicycles Treated Under Oregon Law?

Posted on June 20, 2022 in

Many Portland residents enjoy riding bicycles throughout the city and its surrounding areas. Some people ride on electric bicycles, which are powered by a motor in addition to pedals. While electric bikes are faster than the average bicycle, they may be subject to different laws and requirements.

Generally, electric bicycles are treated the same as regular bicycles under Oregon law. However, there are some requirements regarding the size and speed of these bicycles that you will need to follow.

Oregon E-Bike Laws

Oregon Electric Bicycle Basic Requirements

According to Oregon law, an electric bicycle is any bike with two or three fully functional pedals and a motor of up to 1000 watts that can drive up to speeds of 20 miles per hour. No electric bikes sold in Oregon may legally exceed these limits.

Additionally, an electric bicycle contains the following components:

  • The bicycle has a seat or saddle for the rider.
  • The bicycle is designed to travel on the ground with no more than three wheels.
  • The bicycle has both an electric motor and fully operative pedals.

People who ride electric bicycles do not need a license to operate one, nor do they need to register the vehicle. Insurance is not required for electric bikes in Oregon. Additionally, no one under the age of 16 may ride an electric bicycle. 

Where Can Electric Bicycles Operate in Oregon?

Under the Oregon Vehicle Code, electric bicycles are treated the same as regular bicycles. If you operate one of these vehicles, you can ride on any roadway, path, or lane that bicycles are allowed to ride on. You must also follow the rules of the road, as do motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, and other cyclists.

Generally, electric bicycles are not allowed to ride on sidewalks. It’s important to check your local laws and ordinances to determine where you can and cannot ride an electric bike.

What Happens If You’re in an Accident on an Electric Bike?

While you may follow the rules of the road, you could be involved in an accident while riding an electric bike. Negligent motorists, distracted cyclists, and even dangerous road conditions can put you at risk of a serious injury.

If you are in an accident while riding your electric bicycle, you have the right to hold the person responsible for your accident accountable for these losses. You can file an Oregon insurance claim or lawsuit after an electric bike accident and recover a settlement to pay for medical care, lost wages, property damage, and other damages. 

To secure compensation in your case, however, you will need to prove the following facts.

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
  • The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care.
  • The at-fault party’s breach of duty caused your electric bike accident.

For example, say that you’re riding your bicycle through an intersection when a driver suddenly runs a red light. He strikes you and you suffer from serious injuries. In this situation, the driver has a duty to operate his car safely and follow traffic laws, and breached that duty by running a red light. As a result, he is liable for your accident, and you could hold him accountable for your losses.

If you are involved in an electric bike accident, you need an attorney on your side who can help you recover the settlement that you deserve. Contact a Portland bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.