4511.522 Electric bicycles; labels; compliance with federal regulations; permitted use; violations.

(A)

(1) On and after January 1, 2020, manufacturers and distributors of electric bicycles shall permanently affix a label, in a prominent location, to each electric bicycle. The label shall specify whether the electric bicycle is a class 1, class 2, or class 3 electric bicycle, the top assisted speed that the electric bicycle is capable of reaching, and the motor wattage of the electric bicycle.

(2) No person shall modify an electric bicycle in a manner that changes the top assisted speed that the electric bicycle is capable of reaching unless the person also modifies the label required under division (A)(1) of this section to reflect the modification.

(B)

(1) The manufacturer of an electric bicycle shall ensure that the electric bicycle complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles established by the consumer product safety commission under 16 C.F.R. 1512 et seq.

(2) The manufacturer shall manufacture all class 1 electric bicycles and class 3 electric bicycles so that when the rider ceases pedaling the electric motor ceases to provide assistance. The manufacturer shall manufacture all class 2 electric bicycles so that when the rider applies the brakes or releases or activates a switch or similar mechanism the electric motor ceases to provide assistance.

(3) All class 3 electric bicycles shall be equipped with a speedometer that displays the speed of the electric bicycle in miles per hour.

(C)

(1) The operation of a class 1 electric bicycle and a class 2 electric bicycle is permitted on a path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or on a shared-use path, unless the county, township, municipal corporation, other local authority, or state agency as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code with control over the path by resolution, ordinance, or rule prohibits the use of a class 1 electric bicycle or class 2 electric bicycle on such a path.

(2) No person shall operate a class 3 electric bicycle on a path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or a shared-use path unless that path is within or adjacent to a highway or the county, township, municipal corporation, or local authority, or state agency as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code with control over the path by resolution, ordinance, or rule authorizes the use of a class 3 electric bicycle on such a path.

(3) No person shall operate a class 1 electric bicycle, a class 2 electric bicycle, or a class 3 electric bicycle on a path that is intended to be used primarily for mountain biking, hiking, equestrian use, or other similar uses, or any other single track or natural surface trail that has historically been reserved for nonmotorized use, unless the county, township, municipal corporation, other local authority, or state agency as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code with control over the path by resolution, ordinance, or rule authorizes the use of a class 1 electric bicycle, a class 2 electric bicycle, or a class 3 electric bicycle on such a path.

(D)

(1) No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a class 3 electric bicycle; however, a person under sixteen years of age may ride as a passenger on a class 3 electric bicycle that is designed to accommodate passengers.

(2) No person shall operate or be a passenger on a class 3 electric bicycle unless the person is wearing a protective helmet that meets the standards established by the consumer product safety commission or the American society for testing and materials.

(E)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever operates an electric bicycle in a manner that is prohibited under division (C) of this section and whoever violates division (D) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(2) The offenses established under division (E)(1) of this section are strict liability offenses and strict liability is a culpable mental state for purposes of section 2901.20 of the Revised Code. The designation of these offenses as strict liability offenses shall not be construed to imply that any other offense, for which there is no specified degree of culpability, is not a strict liability offense.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 250, §1, eff. 3/8/2019.