Quick Legal Question on 3-class speedometer and motor cut-off brake requirements

Ken M

Well-Known Member
In 2002 when ebikes were moved from NHTSA jurisdiction to the CPSC the requirement for a speedometer was removed and not a single state protested that. Why did People for Bikes draft the 3-class legislation with section 303 of the model legislation to have states re-add that requirement on Class 3 ebikes. This sure seems like an obvious interstate commerce violation that should result of preemption of the 3-class legislation.

Some states that have adopted the 3-class legislation promoted / lobbied for by People for Bikes adopted the requirement to have ebrakes on Class 2 throttle-assist ebikes. These brakes disable the motor when the brake is applied but there is no real safety justification for this requirement.

The CPSC federal regulation does not require ebrakes to be compliant so I'm just wondering if anyone but me sees this is an interstate commerce violation. The only way a Class 2 ebike can have truly functional ebrakes as part of the drive system if for the manufacturer to design and program them during the bike development process so they can be produced and packaged for sale with the functional ebrakes installed (ie brakes that cut power to the motor when a brake is activated).

My opinion is that this is an interstate commerce issue but some claim that a conflict can only exist if there is a conflict between the federal definition and the state requirement (in other works, since the CPSC does not require ebrakes they can not be a conflict if one or more states do require them but the whole concept of the federal safety regulations is to have harmonized products for sale in all 50 states while the states focus on "use" regulations).

In my opinion this is clearly an example of states requiring something "more stringent" than the federal requirements so it should preempted by the CPSC as a violation of interstate commerce that doesn't even address a safety concern.

Thoughts and legal feedback comments wanted......
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