Here's what I found out about my city's ordinance...

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Warner, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Warner

    Warner Member

    This is what my home city (Elgin, Illinois) has - an ordinance specifically banning not just MAB's, but EVERYTHING under 150cc's it appears! Wow! The city adjacent to mine (Hoffman Estates) has a similar ordinance!


    Okay, here is the first part where they define what a motor-driven cycle is, referring to State of Illinois definitions:

    11.45.010: DEFINITION:

    For the purpose of this chapter, "motor driven or electric cycles" are defined as any motorcycle, motor scooter, motorized pedal cycle, or motor driven skateboard with less than one hundred fifty (150) cubic centimeter piston displacement; or electric scooter, electric pedal driven cycle or electric drive skateboard; or any vehicle as defined by 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/1-145.001 or 5/1-148.2, as amended. (Ord. G81-03 Sec. 1, 2003)

    Here are the Illinois statutes:

    The Illinois Vehicle Code defines the following:

    5/1-145.001 "A motor driven cycle as every motorcycle and every motor scooter with less that 150 cubic centimeter piston displacement including motorized pedalcycles."

    5/1-148.2 "A motorized pedalcycle is a motor-driven cycle whose speed attainable in one mile is 30 mph or less, which is equipped with a motor that produces 2 brake horsepower or less. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement shall not exceed 50 cubic centimeter displacement and the power drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears." An endorsement is not required for these vehicles.

    And here is where they specifically prohibit them:

    11.45.020: PROHIBITION:

    No person shall operate motor driven or electric cycles upon any public or private street, public sidewalk, parking lot, bike path or public park. (Ord. G81-03 Sec. 1, 2003)

    By the way, the neighboring town (Hoffman Estates) also has the same type of ordinance against them.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015

  2. Warner

    Warner Member

    In light of this, I fired off the following letter to my city's mayor and all of the councilmen:

    Good afternoon Mr. Schock and councilmen. My name is Warner Xxxxxxxxx and I’m a 42 year old working professional that has been a resident of Elgin for 15 years. Due to the incredible price of gasoline I have been looking into alternative forms of transportation, and thought that I had found the perfect solution in a power-assisted bicycle. My plan was to commute to and from work on the bicycle, as they routinely achieve more than 150 miles per gallon. I have found that the state of Illinois allows such vehicles to be used as long as they are under 50cc’s in displacement and the operator is a licensed driver. Perfect, I thought. Each day that I rode the bike to work would save my family $10. However, when I checked the municipal code in Elgin I was shocked to see that there is an ordinance specifically banning them. I can understand the need for laws to keep kids from riding their scooters and whatnot all over town, but for a law to be in place that bans the use of something like this for a licensed adult driver just doesn’t make sense. Please tell me that I have misread the ordinance or that there are plans in place to look into this further. I can’t afford to keep filling my van’s gas tank at $95 a shot. I can be reached via e-mail or any time on my cell phone at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

    Thank you for your time,

    Warner Xxxxxxxx

    We'll see what happens!

  3. butch27

    butch27 Guest

    These laws are going to HAVE to change because of the gas prices.
  4. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member


    I like what you said and how you said it. Most cities and communities have way too many laws on the books. This is an example of a poorly thought out responce to a perceived nuisance. The bicycle with a low power and efficient motor is a very good solution to the gas crunch. Communities need to get on board and allow us to use the roads and mix it up without fear of tickets and agressive behavior against the use of these bikes.
  5. Warner

    Warner Member

    I would HOPE so. There's certainly a strong case for it, but you know how slowly things happen in communities when it comes to law!

  6. Warner

    Warner Member

    Follow up.....

    Well, I DID just get an e-mail from the Mayor of Elgin. Here is his e-mail followed by my response:

    From: Mayor
    Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:56 AM
    To: Warner
    Subject: RE: Elgin code on power-assisted bicycles

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    We are looking into this.

    Edward Schock
    Mayor, City of Elgin

    From: Warner Smith
    Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:14 AM
    To: 'Mayor'
    Subject: RE: Elgin code on power-assisted bicycles

    Thank you very much! Many communities (more and more with the current gas crisis) are making the legal distinction between motorized platform scooters and motor-assisted bicycles operated by licensed drivers. In looking at the way the Elgin ordinance is written, it essentially bans ALL motorcycles that are less than 150cc's in displacement, which can't be what the intention of the ordinance was. I deeply appreciate your response to this Mayor Schock.


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  7. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member

    Here's hoping that your diplomacy works. The more places that get it passed an intelligent look see, it will help all of us as we ride through your communities. I really do believe that a majority of people when given all the facts, will want the small motored bikes to be legal if not preferred transportation.
  8. Yea I just enjoy my ride on the trails. Colorado has ordinances too but when a police officer sees me chugging along down a bike trail so far the response has been positive.
  9. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    That is an excellent way to agitate for change- be polite and don't look like an agitator.
  10. Warner

    Warner Member

    I'm trying.......I'm trying....thanks for the support. The truth is that I will probably buy the kit and ride the bike anyway. I REALLY don't think the ordinance is directed towards the motorized bicycles, nor do I think I'd get stopped. I did also hear back (just today) from the Illinois Secretary of State with information that I already knew - they are legal but are treated like mopeds. No biggie as I have a valid driver's license.

  11. MacTac

    MacTac Banned

    possibly by providing a link to the Arizona law might also help.

    give them an example to look at?
  12. Warner

    Warner Member

    Our OWN Illinois state law allows them! This is just a city ordinance......almost certainly propogated by the electric platform scooters that kids ride..

  13. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I'm going to anger some people here, but an ordinance that kept the ban for under the age of 16 or 17 or 18 may go over well.
  14. Warner

    Warner Member

    I would say that requiring a vaild driver's license (or "L" motorcycle license, which in IL are independant of each other) as the Illinois law does for such vehicles is adequate. If a 16 year old has a valid license to drive a car, they should be allowed to drive an MAB. But I think your point is well taken. And obviously the state of Illinois agrees with you because that's how the state law reads already. Now if we could just get these silly city ordinances fixed........

  15. CJH

    CJH Member

    I am planning on building motored bike and I will probably use it to commute to and from work which is about 5 miles each way. I live in Aurora and I just searched the codes and didn't find anything about motorized bicycles being prohibited. With gas prices being as high as they are, I hope that some of these communities take another look at their laws since there are going to be more people looking for alternative transportation.
  16. Warner

    Warner Member

    Well, hopefully the cops in our towns have something better to do than pull a guy on a bicycle over, right? Hehe. Actually, my commute is from Elgin to Arlington Heights, and the route that I would take is 19 miles each way. Going through Hoffman Estates is the part that would worry me at all....I don't think I'd have any trouble in Elgin. Maybe wouldn't have trouble anywhere, but who knows. I sent a letter to the officer who was involved with the original ordinance in Hoffman Estates and never got a response. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you!

  17. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    Would be interesting to read Illinois law to see if it supercedes any local law. Usually the state gov't is interested in making things like this 1) their business and 2) uniform across the state.
  18. Warner

    Warner Member

    Illinois law basically identifies them as mopeds and does not require them to have plates or insurance. You DO need to posess a vaild driver's license though.

  19. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    Right but in the preamble to the motor vehicle code, or somewhere they might say "no local municipality may counteract state law."
  20. sjackson

    sjackson Member

    Local municipalities can make stricter laws, but not more lenient ones. I agree with Hough's idea of the age restriction. These laws were mostly drawn up to keep kids off the roads with their mini-bikes, gopeds, and go karts.