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Navigating the New Electric Bike Laws in Manhattan Beach

Did you know that riding an eBike requires following the State of California’s established traffic laws? A driver's license is not necessary, but riding an electric bike comes with a set of rules to follow while traveling on public streets.

The new laws regarding motorized and electric bikes Manhattan Beach traffic officers have begun enforcing include wearing the proper safety gear and staying within speed limits. Violations could result in traffic citations just as though you were operating a scooter, moped or motor vehicle. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you navigate the local streets and avoid getting a ticket.

What Are the New eBike Laws in Manhattan Beach?

The new eBike laws are similar to traditional laws regarding traffic lights, signs at an intersection, and speed limits. Riders must stop at all yield and stop signs whether they're located at intersections, alleyways or any of the side streets along the beach. To avoid a citation, stop your bike before the sign, and then proceed only when the intersection is clear of cars and pedestrians.

At a traffic light, electric bikes must follow the same rules as motor vehicle drivers: Stop at a red light, proceed with caution at a yellow light and only continue moving when there’s a green light. Where there are no traffic lights or signs, eBike riders must slow down and be prepared to stop for approaching cars, regular bicyclists and pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach’s Municipal Code requires wearing a safety helmet and other protective gear when riding a motorized bike. The city’s electric bike enforcement 2021 laws require police officers to stop riders who appear to be riding faster than the speed limit or who are not wearing safety gear.

California law designates three classifications for eBikes. The speed limit is 20 mph for Class 1 and Class 2 eBikes. Class 3 eBikes can reach higher speeds and California law considers them most at risk when they’re being ridden on busy streets. They’re required to have a speedometer, but California does not allow them to have a throttle. The Golden State’s speed limit for Class 3 eBikes is 28 mph.

Why Laws Are Becoming Stricter for Electric Bikes

In light of the increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather patterns Southern California’s been experiencing, the more vigorous enforcement of the speed limit is helping to reduce the risk of accidents. Electric bikes can travel faster than regular two-wheelers, and riders are required to operate them safely while remaining mindful of weather and road conditions. The speed at which you can operate your bike without being ticketed depends on its make and model, which also determines what classification it falls in.

Where You Can Now Ride Your Electric Bikes

The good news is that you can now ride your eBike on public streets as long as you obey California's traffic rules. Motorized bikes, however, are not permitted on Manhattan Beach's sidewalks, on The Strand or on the bike paths that run along the area's beaches. By law, pedestrians have the right-of-way in both marked and unmarked crosswalks. When approaching a crosswalk, be sure to stop your bike behind the white or yellow line and allow pedestrians to cross the street.

Other South Bay Communities

The electric bike laws South Bay area residents and visitors in other communities are required to follow are generally the same as those found in a California State DMV handbook. A violation of a traffic rule may come with hefty fines or other penalties. The traditional hand signals used by bicyclists to alert motorists when they’re turning could help avoid a serious accident. Overall, it’s a good idea to stay updated on the latest local rule changes and to check on other states’ laws when you plan on taking your eBike across state lines. If you have any questions, give us a call. We’re a good source for bike information.

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