Have you ever experienced how a supposedly distant cyclist suddenly appears almost in front of your vehicle while you are turning into a street? This scenario is an example of the change in the structure of road users in recent years. With the increasing popularity of e-bikes, they are now an integral part of the road scene, but often underestimated because they go faster.For this reason, we have compiled the current traffic rules and tips for you, so that you are always safe on the road.
Pedelec, S-pedelec or e-bike
While all motor-assisted bicycles are commonly referred to as e-bikes, there are differences. And these are also taken into account in the regulations. Pedelecs (Pedal Electric Cycles), for example, have a maximum speed of 25 km/h. Here, a motor provides assistance, which is switched on as needed. However, you still have to pedal yourself. An S-pedelec (speed pedelec), on the other hand, can be ridden at speeds of up to 45 km/h. The power output is limited to a maximum of 1,000 watts. The power is limited to 4,000 watts. Here, you also have to pedal yourself. The actual e-bike, on the other hand, can be ridden without assistance, powered solely by the electric drive. With a top speed of 25 km/h and max. 500 watts, it is a comfortable means of transportation.
Different legal regulations
Legislation distinguishes between the different "e-bike" types. While the pedelec is classified as a bicycle, the S-pedelec and e-bike are considered mopeds or motor vehicles.
Pedelecs have no age restriction, which means that young and old alike can enjoy them. However, if you want to ride an S-pedelec, you must be at least 16 years old, while for an e-bike, you must be at least 15 years old.
No matter which model you choose, it is always advisable to wear a helmet. While pedelecs do not have a helmet requirement, S-pedelecs and e-bikes do. However, for all of them, safety first, so be sure to wear a helmet and make sure it's the right size and adjusted correctly.
If you ride a pedelec, your lighting system must be in working order. S-pedelecs and e-bikes must also have a daytime running light in accordance with EU standard ECE 113, so that you are clearly visible even in poor light conditions.
Another important factor is the driver's license requirement. If you ride a pedelec, you do not need a driver's license. For S-pedelecs, you need either an AM or B driver's license (for those born after April 1, 1965) or no driver's license. For e-bikes, a moped driver's license is required.
In terms of insurance, pedelecs are not subject to compulsory insurance, but with Lease a Bike they are automatically insured under the all-round cover. For S-pedelecs and e-bikes, motor vehicle liability insurance with license plates is required, while comprehensive insurance is recommended.
If a cycle path is compulsory, pedelecs must use the cycle path, otherwise they can choose to use the cycle path or the road. S-pedelecs may only be ridden on the road, while e-bikes must be ridden on the road in built-up areas and can use either the cycle path or the road outside built-up areas.
For safe participation in road traffic, it is recommended that you always allow for a longer braking distance. Also, adjust your speed to the conditions.
In addition, conspicuous clothing or a signal vest contribute to better visibility. A forward-looking and defensive driving style provides additional safety. Always keep a watchful eye on traffic. Use hand signals to communicate your intentions to other road users when turning or stopping.
Other countries, other regulations
If you are traveling by e-bike, other countries will probably have different laws regarding mandatory helmets, identification, license plates or the use of bike lanes. It is best to find out about the national regulations before you start your trip so that nothing stands in the way of a carefree journey.