- Sep 30, 2006
Mode of transportation at heart of traffic stopsCarol Sowers
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 19, 2007 12:00 AM
SCOTTSDALE - A 50-year-old Scottsdale man is battling traffic citations in City Court because he says he was ticketed twice by a police officer who doesn't know the difference between a motorized bicycle and a moped.
Steve Livingston says the officer, R. Royston, a longtime traffic officer, does not understand a new law that treats motorized bicycles like traditional pedal-powered bicycles.
Jesse Squier, Livingston's lawyer, argued that a veteran traffic officer like Royston should have known about the new law, and that he "has a vendetta against my client."
But Scottsdale prosecutor Mike De La Cruz argued that Livingston's motorized bicycle really is a moped and that the officer "acted in good faith."
The year-old law says riders who attach motors no larger than 33 1/2 cubic centimeters to their bicycles don't need a driver's license, insurance or registration, and can travel in bicycle lanes, but can't go more than 20 mph.
Royston testified Monday that he never heard of the new law when he stopped Livingston in November for riding his orange motorized bike in a bicycle lane along Granite Reef Road, near McDowell Road. The officer cited Livingston for "driving on a suspended license."
Livingston admitted his license had been suspended for drunken-driving, but told Royston at the time that he didn't need a driver's license to ride his motorized bicycle.
Scottsdale Judge Wendy Morton dismissed the suspended-license charge Monday, but Livingston's trial on a speeding ticket will continue later this month.
Royston spotted Livingston a second time in March, again riding his motorized bike in a bicycle lane near Eldorado Park at Oak Street and Miller Road.
The officer said he retrieved his radar gun from his patrol car and clocked Livingston at 28 mph, 8 mph faster than the legal limit for motorized bikes.
Royston pursued Livingston until the cyclist stopped a few blocks later, again on Granite Reef Road.
Livingston testified that his cycle speedometer showed him going no faster than 19.5 mph that day.
At least he's got mb.gumption. Power to the peop...........