Thank you for your interest in MYBIKE and the interesting question. To be sure and to be able to give you a legally watertight answer, we made inquiries at the German Cycle Association (ADFC) and asked bicycle expert Dirk Zedler. There is agreement by both experts: Indicator systems on single-track bicycles or e-bikes are not permitted. This results from the lighting regulations for bicycles of the German Road Vehicles Registration and Licensing Regulations (StVZO). There it is stipulated (translation):
“Forward and rearward facing direction indicators are only permitted on multi-track bicycles or those with a superstructure that completely or partially obscures the rider's hand signals (§ 67 Abs. 5 StVZ0). Roland Huhn, traffic law expert at the German Cycle Association (ADFC): “Indicators are thus only permitted on multi-track e-bikes and on e-bikes with superstructure (e.g. cabin recumbent bikes).”
Dirk Zedler, Zedler Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit GmbH states in addition: “The indicator issue is not a trivial one. Cargo or family e-bikes alone with, for example, three wheels or bicycles with a superstructure, e.g. cycle rickshaws, may be equipped with indicators. On bicycle trailers, however, indicators are permitted in general. Flashing lights on the helmet, the body or the rucksack are also permitted, but of course do not replace the obligatory hand signal.” I am personally of the opinion that indicators would increase safety when turning. The cyclist's intention would be clearly visible and both hands could remain on the handlebars. An uninterruptible power supply for the indicator system should neither be an issue with e-bikes.
Author: Uli Frieß, test editor MYBIKE