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New kind of bike presents law confusion, safety risks

If you have visited Asia, you have probably seen a different looking kind of bike. It moves faster, due to the assistance of an electric motor. No, these bikes are not motorcycles; they are what the transportation industry calls electric bicycles (e-bikes).

Sources note how popular e-bikes are in Asia and how the bikes are starting to pop up more here in the U.S., including here in Minnesota. With the introduction of something new on the roads come benefits, but also risks and questions. 

A matter of safety and legislative concern is the technical classification of an e-bike. More specifically, when is the product considered a bicycle versus a motorbike or motorcycle? The question is important since laws differ for the riders on each type of transportation option.

When classifying bikes, laws take speed, wheel count and the power of motors into consideration. The Star Tribune shares how that matter is confusing because federal and state laws differ. 

But how does this confusion and new transportation trend impact you?

E-bikes are not popular on the roadways or paths of Minnesota, yet. But someone who uses one to get around needs to know and abide by the laws. They need to ride where they are legally authorized to ride. They need to understand the laws that apply to them and live within those regulations.

If you are the victim of someone who failed to drive or ride according to the legal standards that foster a safe environment, reach out to a personal injury lawyer who understands your frustration and needs. Victims of operator negligence have legal rights.

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