Did Arizona Just Require a Driver’s License to Ride an eMTB?

The regulation is a humorous factor. They’re essentially broad of their definitions in order that they’ll seize every of the wrinkles of actual life. However typically they cowl extra territory than they’re meant to. Such is the case with a brand new regulation in Arizona, which appears to require a driver’s license to trip an e-bike off-road.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs simply signed into regulation Arizona Senate Invoice 1567, which prohibits anybody from working an off-road automobile (akin to a quad or motorbike) from doing so whereas consuming alcohol or possessing it in an open container. That appears smart sufficient, amiright? Nonetheless, the regulation has a second provision: that anybody working an off-road automobile should possess a driver’s license and have gone via a driver schooling course.

That requirement doesn’t sound too nanny-state, however Arizona’s definition of what constitutes an off-highway automobile (OHV) deviates from what we discover in most different states. Arizona stipulates, “An OHV is a motor vehicle that’s operated primarily off of highways and that’s designed, modified or purpose-built primarily for leisure nonhighway all-terrain journey. An OHV features a tracked or wheeled automobile, utility automobile, all-terrain automobile, motorbike, four-wheel drive automobile, dune buggy, sand rail, amphibious automobile, floor results or air cushion automobile and every other technique of land transportation deriving motive energy from a supply aside from muscle or wind.”

Whereas they didn’t particularly title eMTBs, they meet the definition. They’re purpose-built for leisure, nonhighway, all-terrain journey. That additionally consists of fat-tire e-bikes or every other e-bike you would possibly trip off-road, akin to a gravel e-bike.

There’s a wealthy irony to the concept that you would possibly want a driver’s license to trip an e-bike off-road. You don’t want a driver’s license to trip a motorbike on the highway. And also you definitely don’t want one to trip a motorbike the place no roads are current.

That driver’s license requirement has one other unintended (we hope) consequence: It means youngsters can’t trip e-bikes off-road, although they might nonetheless trip them on-road. That sounds loopy.

Communities across the nation are confronting the difficulty of what kind, the place and even whether or not youngsters must be allowed to trip e-bikes. Because of some high-profile accidents and even deaths of youngsters using e-bikes, cities are contemplating what kind of restrictions is perhaps necessary. However these debates all regard the usage of e-bikes on the highway.

There are at present 11 states that require e-bike riders to have a driver’s license, thereby limiting ridership to these 16 years outdated or older. Arizona was not amongst them. The place these states’ legal guidelines require a driver’s license to trip any e-bike in any respect, Arizona’s regulation has no impact on youngsters using e-bikes on the highway.

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