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Electric bikes and scooters: okay to ride in bike lane?
Bicycles are vehicles under Georgia law - that means that traffic laws apply to bike riders. For the most part, people know this, but there are a couple of questions that keep popping up.
With a little help from our friends, we have determined that electric assisted bicycles as defined in Georgia Code Section 40-1-1 and 40-6-294 may be operated on bicycle paths. However, most "bike paths" in Georgia are actually shared-use paths, which means walkers, joggers, strollers, rollerbladers, and even equestrians (see post) may be using the paths as well. The PATH Foundation strongly discourages people riding electric assisted bikes from using shared-use paths for that reason - the speeds achieved on e-bikes just aren't compatible with sharing a very limited space (usually 8-10 feet) with strollers and horses.
E-bikes ARE allowed, however, in bike lanes. Courtesy requires that those moving at higher speeds call out "on your left" and pass other bicyclists with care.
However, anything with a electric motor that produces over 1,000 watts, weighs a 100 pounds or more, or propels the vehicle faster than 20 mph (we're talking to you, scooters, cute as you are!) are NOT allowed on bike paths, shared use paths, OR bike lanes.
The Silver Comet Trail has some good tips here.
We hope this helps clarify some persistent questions. Please share any others in the comment section below.