Tucson Police Department Harassment

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by cactusamigo, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. cactusamigo

    cactusamigo New Member

    Police response times to serious crimes have increased due to "budget/manpower" restrictions. However, TPD has sufficient budget and manpower to harrass operators of motorized bikes.

    During the last two weeks, three people have told me that they were stopped by TPD officers for operating their bikes at 24-25mph, had their bikes IMPOUNDED, and received numerous associated citations. In each case, these individuals had previously lost their drivers licenses for various reasons, and their motorized bikes were their only means of transportation to their jobs.

    I do not advocate breaking the law, but this is absurd beyond reasonable belief. The punishment in no way fits the "crime". I think that it is immoral for the government to target and screw people who are trying to put their lives in order.

    The legal speed limit for a motorized bike is 19mph. If you are caught exceeding this, you can expect to be cited for operating a moped in a bike lane, having no registration, no insurance, and no drivers license (if you do not have one). In addition, your bike will be IMPOUNDED, with a costly process to recover it.

    This type of gestapo police activity is an infringement on all of our freedoms, not just those driving motorized bikes. All who read this should demand of their city council representatives that that fathead TPD police chief be held accountable for the proper allocation of his funding resources and manpower for the protection of the community. Last year, 113 TPD officers earned more than $100,000 because of "overtime". Now we have cops with so much time on their hands that they have to harrass riders of motorized bikes. Time for the citizens to kick the asses of the bureaucrats wasting taxpayers money when we are all being pinched by the current economy. I don't want cops wasting my money busting people riding bikes, motorized or not!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2010

  2. Fulltimer

    Fulltimer Member

    "This type of gestapo police activity is an infringement on all of our freedoms..." could it be that the cops have been getting complaints about how fast people are riding? So, then they decide to crack down. Remember your "freedoms" stop when you go too far and break a law.

    I'm not slamming you or the other riders. I have gone over the speed limit for bikes here in Florida. But I don't do it often or for a very long distance. But it DOES seem like those guys were drawing attention to themselves.

  3. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member


    Do radar guns work on MB's. If not how do they judge. by watching other traffic around you.
  4. Chalo

    Chalo Member

    Any bicycle can exceed 20mph on a downhill grade. Motorized bikes are only prohibited from being able to go over 20 on motor power alone. In the real world, it's difficult to say that slopes and tailwinds aren't having some effect at any given time.

    If the folks getting hassled by the cops were only doing 24-25mph, then it seems like it would be easy to make a case to the court that other factors were involved. Of course, taking it to court is yet another hassle.

  5. cactusamigo

    cactusamigo New Member

    No one gets their car impounded for exceeding the speed limit by 5 or 6 miles per hour. These speeds are common for non-motorized bikes. The only attention drawing feature was the motor. These guys were all stopped by motorcycle cops who called a wrecker to haul away their bikes. I still maintain the punishment was more than severe, especially considering the time, manpower, and cost involved, in view of police manpower and budgetary constraints in the current economy. Each individual is going to court to challenge the action. I'l l report the results when I hear from them.
  6. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    Whatever the law, and I see that MB's are in fact legal, if riding a motorized bike over the speed limit even by 30 mph, does NOT justify impounding, unless something else was involved..ie DUI, not even running a stop sign warrants impounding. The MOST a ticket issued and told to peddle home (which I doubt). If I was driving my truck at 120mph in a 70mph zone, I would be issued just a ticket unless DUI, or reckless driving. Although the ticket might not be just for speeding, but possibility a careless driving ticket and I'm on my way. Over zealous to say the least.
  7. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I wonder if your local police have discovered that many people with suspended drivers license are using MB's for transportation. Word soon gets around and a MB becomes a red flag. No DL, do us all a favor and take the bus.
  8. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    well, while I might personally think that the speed law is extreme (19 mph speed limit on a vehicle that can exceed that because of a quick gust of wind or a sudden downgrade), if they are operating them without a DL, that is an active violation of the law. Sorry, I can't stand behind that.
  9. BiMoPed

    BiMoPed New Member

    You do not need a drivers license in AZ to ride a motorized bike,
    but if you go over 20 mph they throw the book at you.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  10. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    they work on baseballs, why would they not work on MBs?
  11. Exarach

    Exarach New Member

    I had a UoA (In Tucson) Officer on a motorcycle today catch me missing a stop sign. My own fault, I saw it late, and stopped about 5 feet over the line. All he did was wave me over, and tell me to stop at the sign next time I came through, he even complemented me on my "Cool Bike"

    So far this is the only interaction I have had with any police forces in Tucson, and hopefully, my experiences will be limited to such pleasant encounters.

    However I will say, back when I used to ride on manpower alone, I would often see motorized bicycles, and many of them were racing along at speeds that were clearly over the 19mph. If I was going 15, and they were flying past me....:whistling:

    Anyhow, I would encourage anyone in Tucson to enjoy your riding experience, but to keep it safe and easy, keep those regs in mind. Perhaps then we can have a better MB environment for everyone.

    Also, to anyone who was caught riding in this freak Tucson rain/hail storm we had today, I hope you made it back ok, I know it threw me for a loop, almost ate it into the curb several times. :veryangry:

  12. Paratrooper

    Paratrooper New Member

    BiMoPed's inclusion of AZ law is most helpful . It seems to address the limits of motor size BUT does not address the maximum "wattage" of an electric "helper" motor . Is there a limit ? I see them selling with a power rating of 450 watts and better . A little help ???
  13. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    While I agree that a power limit is helpful in some ways, I do not think it is needful.

    Most of the sub-50 cc two stroke and four stroke engines used in building MB's seem to be designed to produce 1 to 2 horsepower. Since one horsepower is a nominal legal equivalent to 750 watts of electric motor power, it hardly seems that 450 watts is a real concern.

    I've contemplated building a hybrid tadpole trike with a 350-500 watt hub motor in each front wheel, pedal drive through to the rear wheel, and a 1,2000 watt gas generator mounted behind the seat. Best of both worlds, really - a 2 HP four stroke running at its most efficient would drive the genny, a battery bank for smoothing and surge needs to the electric hub motors, and a really quiet bike you can pedal readily. Cost is the major stumbling block for me - LiPo batteries ain't cheap, SLA and NiCads are too heavy.
  14. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I can help you throw the book at them if you'd like.

    Start by reading the U.S. Constitution, its amendments, U.S. statutes, your state constitution, its statutes, etc. Your answer lies somewhere in there; it's not hidden at all.

    LAW -vs- THE BIBLE

    Step 1) LIFE, LIBERTY, & PROPERTY... Were they violated by somebody that took an oath to protect these three things for all individuals? Was this person bonded? (I'm sure) Then collect the bond monies. :)

    EVERYTHING comes down to property rights in this country. If a cop is confiscating (i.e. - "removing without lawful authority") your property, then he should be held liable for it.
  15. Chalo

    Chalo Member

    I think the laws acknowledge that a 1hp gas motor and a 1hp electric motor are very different creatures.

    Gas motors are rated according to their peak power. They produce peak torque at a speed relatively close to their peak power speed. You generally don't run a gas motor at peak power all the time, because that's hard on it and wears it out quickly.

    Electric motors are rated according to the continuous power they can produce without overheating. Their peak power under load can be much higher. Electric motors typically produce their peak torque at a dead stall, so an electric bike will accelerate much more quickly than a gas bike of the same power rating.

    With just the right gear ratios, an electric bike and a gas bike of the same HP rating will have the same top speed. If you gear a gas bike above or below that ratio, it will be slower. If you gear an electric bike above that ratio, it will likely become faster (but more likely to overheat the motor or overload its controller). And under any conditions other than top speed running, the electric bike will behave like a much more powerful vehicle.

    The laws may also be designed to discourage people from carrying 100 lbs. of batteries to satisfy the cravings of their 2hp electric motors. That would be a safety problem for almost any bike, let alone the hokey department store cruisers that many people choose to motorize.

  16. Paratrooper

    Paratrooper New Member

    I guess my initial question went unnoticed . Since the law clearly addresses the 48cc threshold it seems to ignore any limits on electric assisted bikes . Bottom line : Is there a limit on wattage for electric assisted bikes ?
  17. BiMoPed

    BiMoPed New Member

    It is not mentioned in the Statute so that means that there is no limit.
    However electric bicycles are still limited to 20 mph

    It also does not mention a maximum horse power for gas engines.

    It is a very badly written law as it limits motors to 48 cc. It should
    have said 50 cc like a lot of other states.

    The Honda GX 50 ( 49 cc) and Huasheng 49 cc along with any
    Morini 50 cc are all illegal in Arizona.
    There was already one guy in Mesa that was cited for this.

    You have heard of getting off on a technicality, but it works the
    other way too......
  18. Chalo

    Chalo Member

    Many states use the 750W Consumer Product Safety Commission definition of an electric bicycle as a legal power limit. California uses a 1000W limit. Texas specifies no power limit, but does have a speed and bike weight limit.

    Some states specify their speed limit as pertaining to (for instance) a "170 lb. rider on level ground", which gives enough leeway to successfully fight any modest speed ticket in court.

  19. toolmanaz68

    toolmanaz68 New Member

    One of those with impounded MB

    I am one of those who was doing 25 in a 40 zone in the bike lane and was impounded and ticketed by TPD.
    To take this thing a little further, AZ DMV says no license, insurance, or insurance is required for MBs, and doesnt bother to tell you about the Tucson City ordinance about the 20 mph exemption to the state law.
    Furthermore, I was coasting downhill to reach the 25 mph allegation and NOT under power although the motor was on.
    The city prosecutor, after reading the charges at the arraignment said, " Were you on a motorized bicycle? Dude you have to plead not guilty and fight this."
    So, I did, and I am. I will keep you all advised as the proceedings move along.
  20. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    It's not a Tucson 20 mph exemption. It's state-wide.

    The way the law reads, here in AZ, once you've mounted a motor, the motor could be not running, and if you then exceed 20 MPH, it's possible that you could be taken to court. (Or, if they SAY you were exceeding 20 mph.)