Senate Agrees To Regulations For Electric Bicycles In South Dakota

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South Dakota lawmakers gave final approval Monday morning to establishing three classes of electric bicycles and restricting some off-road uses.

State senators agreed 32-0 to the House version of SB 187. Representatives made a spelling change — “peddle” became “pedal” — and passed it 57- 8 last week.

Republican Senator Jim White of Huron is prime sponsor.

The Senate had previously passed it 30-0 after extensive revisions last month. Testifying in favor were Yvonne Taylor from the South Dakota Municipal League and Julie Johnson of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association.

The bill now goes to Governor Kristi Noem.

Electric bicycle would be defined as “a bicycle or a tricycle that is equipped with a seat or saddle, with operable pedals for propulsion, and with an electric motor of seven hundred fifty watts or less.”

The classification depends on when the motor operates and the bike’s maximum speed.

It’s Class I if the motor provides assistance only when the person is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance at 20 miles per hour.

It’s Class II if the motor is capable of propelling the bicycle without the person pedaling and ceases to provide assistance at 20 mph.

It’s Class III if the motor provides assistance only when the person is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance at 28 mph.

Speedometers would be required on Class III.

Manufacturers and distributors would need to label each electric bike by its class, maximum assisted speed and motor wattage starting January 1, 2020.

An electric bike would need to be re-labeled if a person made a change affecting the maximum speed or its manner of propulsion.

The legislation also would prohibit people younger than age 16 from operating a Class III bike and would require any operator of a Class III bike younger than 18 to wear a helmet.

Any passenger regardless of age would have to wear a helmet on a Class III bike.

The legislation also sets restrictions on where different classes can be operated. Read it at

http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?File=SB187HTR.htm&Session=2019&Version=House%20Transportation&Bill=187

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