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e-Bike Safety in the County of Orange

Thank you for your interest in e-bike safety. The first step to becoming a savvy e-bike rider is to get to know the types of standard bikeways and paths that are available to you.  Rules may differ depending on where you ride — learning how they vary is important! Review the County of Orange e-bike laws for unincorporated areas below, followed by some helpful safety tips and resources.

Download: Ladera Ranch "e-bike Safe Ride Guide"

Please note, the PDF above was originally created for a Ladera Ranch community meeting held on April 17, 2023. 

County of Orange e-Bike Laws (Unincorporated Areas)

  • All e-bikes are required to have a label that describes classification, top assisted speed, and motor wattage.
  • Helmets are recommended for all e-bike users. If you are under 18, it’s required!
  • It is illegal to carry passengers on your e-bike unless your bike has an extra permanent seat or when using a child safety seat.
  • E-bikes shall not be operated in excess of their designed speed or the speed limit, whichever is lower, on the road, and in no event in excess of 10 miles per hour on paved trails.
  • E-bike shall not be operated in excess of 5 miles per hour on sidewalk.
  • Riding on the road against the flow of traffic is prohibited.

Exclusive right of way for bicyclists and pedestrians, away from the roadway.

OCPW Bikeways Class I

Designated right of way on a street defined by pavement striping and signage for bicycle travel.

OCPW Bikeways Class II

Shared road with motor vehicle traffic.

OCPW Bikeways Class III

 Shared path for bicyclists and pedestrians, separate but parallel to local roads.

OCPW Sidewalk


  • Purchase e-bikes produced by known manufacturers with standard safety features (e.g. motor-interrupt brake levers, class sticker, reflectors, etc.).
  • Perform a “pre-flight” check on your e-bike before you ride (e.g. tires, brake, handlebar, motor, etc.).
  • Understand the rules for e-bikes in your area. Cities may have different e-bike laws.
  • Understand what actions will power your e-bike’s motor on.
  • Always wear an approved helmet.
  • Watch for obstacles. E-bikes can go faster than traditional bicycles, so it’s important to watch out for obstacles in your path, such as pedestrians, potholes, curbs, and parked cars.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Watch your speed. Power down when you don’t need assistance.
  • Take extra care before you decide to ride at night. Use reflective gear and lights to make yourself more visible.


Orange County Bikeways Map
Bike more of the OC with this map from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

OC Parks Paved Off-Road Bikeways
Ride on paved County trails approved   for Class I and II e-bikes.

E-Bike Helmet Requirements
Read the California Vehicle Code on Operation of Bicycles.

E-Bike Street Signs
Learn the road signs to watch for on your e-bike ride. See pages 26-30.