State lagging on bicycle law, says senator, seeking to upgrade electric bikes
By Megan Guza
Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 11:40 p.m.
Leave the car at home.
A bill introduced Thursday by state Sen. Matt Smith would allow motorized pedal bikes to go everywhere traditional bikes go.
Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, said his bill would legalize electric pedal-assist bikes under the state vehicle code and bring Pennsylvania up to speed with the rest of the country.
Pennsylvania is among five states that don't include the bikes in their vehicle codes, and police sometimes stop riders with them to ask if they have licenses such as they'd need for a scooter, he said.
“This is really about bringing Pennsylvania law in line with the 21st century,” Smith said at an event in South Fayette's Morgan Park to introduce the bill. Demand for the bikes is growing, so a classification under the law is needed for them, he said.
Pedal-assist bikes “should be treated like any other bike under the vehicle code,” Smith said.
Riders choose the level of electric assistance they want, and use it when they want.
The bikes cost $1,500 and up, and run on rechargeable batteries. The battery life lasts for 20 to 40 miles, depending on the level of assist used.
Adam Solar Resources, a Bridgeville company focused on solar energy initiatives, has developed a line of the bikes, and Vice President Adam Rossi said he plans to open an electric bike shop in July in South Fayette.
“We need real solutions to the transportation crisis,” Rossi said. “I think these bikes are going to be a huge part of the solution.”
The bikes make up 1 to 2 percent of all bike sales in the United States, and about 18 percent in Europe, Rossi said, citing information from Currie Technologies, a California-based electric bike maker. Adam Solar Resources is a Currie dealer.
Rossi said the bikes allow older people or those with injuries to ride.
“This takes away the concern that they can't navigate a hill,” he said. “It actually enhances bike use.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Newsmaker: Joseph Bonadio
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- FirstEnergy last to get smart meter OK
- On Pittsburgh visit, ambassador says $15B in aid to Ukraine shows support
- State Superior Court denies ex-Sen. Jane Orie’s corruption appeal
- PennDOT cash eases road repair pain in Lawrence County
- State official: Peoples-Equitable merger saves money for consumers
- Tax delinquents make impact in Western Pennsylvania