Electric bike owner hopes to avoid ticket, make a path for others

Karl Ward said he doesn't need a license to ride his electric bike on Gwinnett County roads.
Karl Ward said he doesn't need a license to ride his electric bike on Gwinnett County roads.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A Gwinnett County man doesn’t have a driver’s license and doesn’t think he needs one for what he calls his electric bike.

The police think otherwise and have ticketed Karl Ward, Channel 2 Action News reported.

And a showdown in court is developing.

Ward bought the machine four months ago to help with his 5-mile trip to work. He was on Buford Highway near Hamilton Mill when an officer pulled him over.

The officer wrote, “I explained that the vehicle in its current condition is considered a moped because it contains two wheels, the pedals were not attached, and it contains an independent power source capable of propelling the vehicle forward.”

Ward said he took the pedals off for convenience. And he and his attorney said the law favors them.

The manufacturer of what is called an electric boom scooter said on a product description that no license is needed.

“The fact that it doesn't have a combustion engine, that's what we are resting our case on,” said Ward’s attorney, Tom Westbury.

Ward, who will contest the ticket later this month in a hearing, said the legal issue is important.

“I'm fighting it for principles, and I want to stand up for every e-bike owner out there,” he said. “Because if I'm found guilty, this is going to set a new precendent all over the state.”

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In other news:

It's across the street from a chemical plant.