Legal issues with riding and law enforcement



  • In Washington an "electric personal assistive mobility device" (EPAMD) is defined as "a self-balancing device with one wheel designed to transport only one person by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 2000 watts (two and two-thirds horsepower) having a maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such propulsion system, of twenty miles per hour." RCW 46.04.1695.

    Can anyone or OW provide a certificate or other authority that the OW meets this watt/horsepower definition?

    By statute EPAMD's can be operated on roads (except for fully controlled limited access highways. RCW 46.61.710(3). EPAMDs are not prohibited from being operated on sidewalks. Id.

    EPAMDs "shall obey all speed limits and shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and human-powered devices at all times. An operator must also give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Except for the limitations of this subsection, persons operating an EPAMD shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian." RCW 46.61.710(7).

    State and local governments may prohibit operation of EPAMDs on public highways where the speed limit is greater than twenty-five miles per hour. RCW 46.61.710(8)(a).

    Local governments may also restrict speed of EPAMDs in areas with congested pedestrian or nonmotorized traffic but such areas must be designated by the City engineer or his designee. Local governments may not restrict EPAMD speed in entire communities or areas with infrequent pedestrian traffic. RCW 46.61.710(8)(b).

    Local governmets may regulate operation of EPAMDs within the boundaries of recreation areas, open space areas, habitat areas, trails, or conxervation areas. RCW 46.61.710(8)(c).

    An EPAMD "is not considered a motor vehicle." RCW 46.04.320.



  • @mdwatson1957 Well, the Onewheel's motor is only 500 watts and has an advertised top speed of 16mph.



  • Yes but I read somewhere that average horsepower is different than the face rating of the motor.



  • This was written for 1 particular product... It's waaaaaay to specific to be a general law type of deal. This was written by a group to get one specific product made street "sidewalk" legal and in making so redicoulsly specific it never applies to anything else. This is what people refer to "special interests" getting things done. How do I know? It's what I do for a living.... :) it might as well say epamd is a purple vehicle with a motor that has 6 cylinders made by umpalumpas .....

    No, this law isn't for XYZ corporation, any company who has self balancing vehicles made by umpalumpas can qualify under the law...

    That's how it works. ;)



  • I've done some additional research - quite a few states have laws for "EPAMDs."

    -Many states define EPAMDs in terms of both an average power rating AND maximum speed (WA,MO, MI,TN,OK,IN,NJ,WV,NE,UT,AL,FL,GA,AZ,NM, IA, OH,,).
    -Other states just define EPAMDs in terms of maximum speed without reference to average power ratings (OR,KS,NH,NV, ME,TX,Il,DE,WI,MN,MD,NC,ID,MT,KS,AK,HI,RI,MS).
    -one state only uses an average power rating without regard to maximum speed (VT)
    -one state uses a "not more than" average power rating plus maximum speed (NY)
    -one state uses "no more than" a defined power rating without reference to maximum speed (CO)
    -two simply define the term as a self-balancing electric device without referring to average power rating or maximum speed (D.C., PA)
    -California is unique in that it uses a "not more than" average power rating plus maximum speed BUT has a 20-inch depth (length?) limit.

    BY VIRTUE OF A 2015 AMENDMENT WASHIGNTON STATE IS THE ONLY STATE I HAVE FOUND THAT DEFINES AN EPAMD AS INCLUDING A ONE WHEELED DEVICE. ALL OTHER STATES (AND WASHINGTON) USE A DEFINITION THAT ONLY INCLUDES NONTANDEM 2 WHEELED DEVICES.

    Here is a link to the Segway state law summary: http://www.segway.com/support/regulatory-information



  • So, it looks like Classic mode puts the OneWheel squarely in the legal window for just about every state in the US. Also for California, I think the state measures the size of the vehicle in relation to the rider, not the direction of travel. So the depth is measured across the wheel rather than with it. The laws I read when I bought my SBU (before the OneWheel came out) called EPAMDs a "person-sized" vehicle.


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