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Guide to Riding Electric Bikes in Israel

 Electric Bicycles:

Electric bicycles are bicycles that travel by means of a small electric motor which is run on an electric battery.

We are all familiar with the popular and accessible electric bicycles.
In the past, when electric bicycles first arrived in Israel (2012), they were common for use even among young children. You could see children and teenagers zooming around on the bicycles at high speeds and without helmets on roads and sidewalks. During this period (2012), about 20,000 pairs of electric bicycles were sold in Israel. The law enforcement authorities did not know how to deal with them because there were no clear laws on the books.
However, in recent years, as the number of bicycles as well as the number of road accidents involving electric bicycles increased, the Ministry of Transportation has implemented strict regulations and upped law enforcement against violators of the law.

Important! Beginning from July 2019, the law requiring a license for electric bicycle and scooter riders will come into force. To get a license, the rider is required to successfully pass a 30-question rider’s test.
You can already do the test at one of the 45 branches of the Ministry of Transportation. The test can be taken by individuals who are at least 15 1/2 although they are only permitted to ride the electric bicycles and scooters when they are 16.
A rider who has passed a standard rider’s test, even if his license is currently not in force, will be entitled to receive immediately, without a test, a license for riding an electric bicycle and scooter.
A non-Israeli electric bicycle rider who holds a foreign driver's license that is valid in Israel does not need to pass a rider’s test.
We have recently sent a number of questions to the legal department of the Ministry of Transport with the aim of clarifying the ramifications of the new regulations for foreign citizens and we will update you soon.

Also important: If an accident occurs involving a cyclist under the permitted age, the parents and the child will be held almost fully responsible, regardless of the circumstances. Although the law does not require bikers to have insurance, there are a few insurance companies that are prepared to insure electric bicycle riders. it is advisable to look into purchasing appropriate insurance.

The regulations and laws that apply to a rider:

                                 1. The minimum age for cycling is 16 years or more.
2. It is permissible to ride an electric bicycle whose engine power does not exceed 250 watts (0.33 hp).
3. The speed of the bike does not exceed 25 km / h, and the motor has a shutoff mechanism when the bike reaches a speed exceeding 25 km / h.
4. When climbing up an incline, the motor reduces bike speed.
5. The maximum bike weight is 30 kg.
6. A number of safety accessories must be installed on the electric bicycle, including a horn (or bell), a white headlight, a red rear light, a back light reflector, and a yellow light reflector on the bicycle pedal.
7. Boys and girls 16-18 must use a helmet every time they ride a bicycle with an auxiliary motor. From the age of 18 and above, the wearing of a helmet is mandatory only in city riding or in sport riding. However, it is strongly recommended that the helmet be used even where the law does not require it.
8. Riding is permitted on bicycles with an electric motor operated by a bicycle pedal. A throttle ("gas" handle) is allowed only to start riding - up to a speed of 6 km / h.
9. The cyclist must hold the handlebar with both hands during riding and is allowed to speak on the phone only by means of a handsfree speaker or a headphone.
It is forbidden to ride with another passenger on the bike, although it is permissible to ride with a child from 1 to 8 years old in a safe seat as long as he is wearing a safety belt and a helmet
11. Riding is only permitted on the right side of the road.
12. It is prohibited to ride the bike on the sidewalk. However, it is permitted to walk the bicycle on the sidewalk if it does not disturb the pedestrians.
13. A bicycle rider may not ride across a pedestrian crossing but may ride across a bicycle crossing marked with a traffic sign. A pedestrian is permitted to walk his bicycle across a pedestrian crossing to cross the road. Riding an electric bicycle against the direction of traffic is strictly prohibited.
14. One may ride an electric bike on bicycle paths that have been designated for this purpose and were marked with a traffic sign. A cyclist may not ride anywhere outside of the bicycle path (besides the road).
15. One must carry his identity card while riding.
Riding on an inter-city road in a group of 10 or more riders requires an escort vehicle, which will follow behind them with flashing lights.
17. The electric bicycle must carry an official marking located in a visible place on the chassis of the bike. The following information should appear on the official marking :
              - The words "bicycle with auxiliary motor"
- The name of the model, the name of the manufacturer, the address of the manufacturer, the country of manufacture, the name of the importer and the address of the importer. Serial number, air pressure, maximum weight. 

Serious legal action and punishments will be imposed on offenders of the law as follows:

The penal code prescribes graduated penalties, with the size of the penalties varying according to the severity of the offense:

                                     1. Failure to obey a red light: a fine of 1,500 shekels.
2. Driving at a speed between 31 to 40 km / h above the permitted within the city and driving at a speed of 41 to 50 km / h above the permitted on an intercity road: a fine of 1,500 shekels.
3. Failure to grant the right of way to a pedestrian who wants to cross the road, or when another vehicle gave the right of way: a fine of 250 shekels.
4. Riding an electric bike under the permitted age, or a non-permitted bicycle: a fine of 1,000 shekels.
5. Using a mobile phone while riding: a fine of 1,000 shekels.
6. Various infractions by electric bike riders, including lack of proper safety equipment, riding the bike without sitting on the seat, using the bicycle to transport items, riding alongside another vehicle, failure to maintain a distance from other vehicles, not riding on the right side of the road, riding on the sidewalk, not turning on lights: a fine of 250 shekels.
7. Groups who are cycling on an intercity road, if they are not being escorted by a car: a fine of 500 shekels.
8. Groups who are cycling on an intercity road, if the car escorting them did not do as required by law: a fine of 250 shekels.

Please note: pedestrians are also subject to fines when walking on a bicycle lane: A fine of 500 shekels.

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