Belgian E-Bike Law Prohibits Use Under Age of 16
BRUSSEL, Belgium – While many countries are easing the legislation to promote the use of e-bikes, the Belgium Ministry of Transport wants to prohibit e-bike use under the age of 16. Industry organization FederVelo asked for the inclusion of this prohibition as, “16 year olds are often not yet so skillful to control an e-bike,” said FederVelo secretary Daniël Labours.
Policy makers are questioning how many young people are in fact riding e-bikes. That information is not available, also not for FederVelo. The Belgian newspaper ‘Nieuwsblad’ reports that e-bikes are not so popular among teenagers so the new law will not affect many people, let alone the difficulties to verify that the new age regulations are obeyed.
Next to the age limit, FederVelo also asked for regulation on the use of a helmet when riding a speed e-bike and secondly a limited number of rules on the e-bike to keep it an attractive alternative for mobility. “We see a growing number of people who leave their car at home and opt for an e-bike,” said Daniël Labours.
The new legislation describes three e-bike categories. The first category contains cycles with less than one kilowatt support and an electrical assistance up to 25 km per hour. They are seen as traditional bicycles, but prohibited from people under sixteen years old.
Effective next spring
The second category includes e-bikes with a motor between 1 to 4 kilowatts. These are equivalent to mopeds class B, for which a license, an insurance and wearing a helmet are mandatory as well as a driver’s license. The third category contains e-bikes with a motor support over 45 km/h. These are all considered motorcycles.
The new Belgian e-bike regulation is expected to come into force next spring. By the way, per January 1, 2017 the type-approval regulations come into force for all EU member states, including Belgium. Here are all categories laid out for (speed) e-bikes that have over 250 Watt motors capable of (pedal supported) speeds of over 25 km/h. See Bike Europe’s Whitepaper in e-bike regulations; click here.