What's needed?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by kerf, Jan 13, 2008.

Tags: Add Tags
  1. kerf

    kerf Guest

    The purpose of the following is to stimulate discussion and debate.

    We're in a very interesting situation regarding this "hobby". The motorized bicycle (MB) predates the motor cycle and is almost as old as the car. While it never died, it did laps into a period of relative obscurity and seems to be in a period of resurgence. While we all are very much aware of the appeal, the general public is, for the most part, oblivious to its existence. A while back, bamabikeguy got a write up in the local paper and I know others have had similar exposure but we're still just a double take for most motorists. Due to this relative obscurity, traffic laws that would be friendly to the MB are few and far between, with most areas lumping them in with motor cycles. We need legislation that recognizes the MB as a separate and unique mode of transportation and treats them like a non motorized bicycle. So how do we get it?

    Florida seems to be one state that's on the right track and I would imagine others are following a similar path. I don't want to ignite a political firestorm with this comment, so please just take it as an example only. The Castle Doctrine, originally passed in Florida, has now been passed in 16 other states with more considering it. While not a MB issue, it's a good example of how to get things done in the political arena. The required components are public exposure, a lobbying group and sound reasons behind the proposed legislation. This may be a very good point in history to go after such a grand effort.

    The "Green Movement" is big with issues of the environment and fuel prices. The news media never misses a chance to run with such stories, so why not take advantage when ever possible for free advertising. This could provide the public exposure and the sound reason in one move. All that left is organization, an industry / user lobbing group. Stranger things have come to be.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015

  2. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    You make several good points. I am not familiar with the "Castle Doctrine". Could you elaborate a bit. I think you are hitting on a theory I have on special interest groups, and how to become an effective one. Thanks.

  3. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Simply put, it pertains to the right of self defense and the need to retreat in such situations. The details are better suited for another forum. The point is, it was backed by groups of interested citizens that informed the legislatures of the plans merits and convinced them to support it. Of course, it was also supported by a majority of those living in the state.

    The laws we require are much less controversial and with the current climate toward fuel conservation could and should be adopted. As with the Castle Doctrine, once a state (Florida) adopted it, that was the model used to change the laws in other states. I feel pretty sure our model is already out there somewhere we just need an organization (legislative wing MBc ?) to go to a state and find one member of the state legislature to sponsor our cause. We could help with staged media events such as a 50 bike rally somewhere in the state. Once we get on local news there's a chance the story could get picked up by a network and it's off and running.
  4. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Yup, that is what I was thinking. For years I watched groups with their particular cause sponsor legislation that was very unpopular with another segment of the population. Things like seat belt laws, helmet laws, MADD, and various others. Not saying whether they are right or wrong, or good or bad, I always wondered how a small vocal group could end up "getting what they wanted". Combining the motored bicycle concept with the green movement, plus the cost of oil, and a bit of patriotism, would be a good premise for this movement. I just don't know how to go about it. If you have ideas, I am more than happy to support your cause.
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Note that the Federal government has apparently included motorized bicycles in their guidelines, as having a motor no bigger than 48cc, no more than 2 HP, and operated at speeds no more than 20 MPH. (larger engines cause it to be classified as a moped)

    Ref http://www.motoredbikes.com/showthread.php?t=6800

    Now, if a motorized bike meets all the requirements (engine size, pedal operation, etc,) then it is a motorized bike - NOT a moped. Otherwise, almost every vehicle in the US should be classified as a 'Race car,' as it is CAPABLE of being driven faster than the speed limit.

    Also, ref http://www.spookytoothcycles.com/content/view/10/25/

    In viewing the National Transportation Board link, it appears that we can respond to the proposed regulations.

    Could we put together a reply that would specifically include motorized bicycles?

    It appears that the National Transportation Board is looking at requiring that all such vehicles have turn signals, lights, brake lights, and side marker lights if they are to be operated on the highway. In addition, they are proposing that the maximum speed can be no more than 20 MPH. I've got to believe that there are many pedal pushers who AVERAGE 20 MPH or more on their bikes.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  6. kerf

    kerf Guest

    It would seem to me that a logical step would be to assemble a fact finding committee within an existing group dedicated to the advancement of motorized bicycles. Can anyone suggest such a group?
  7. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    well theres this

    as i have been a liscensed officer of ontario and british columbia,for almost 20 years,and thousands of hours in blacks law book i have my answer,so i can ride,here goes. "motor vehicle" means a vehicle, not run on rails, that is designed to be self propelled or propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, and excludes motorized cycles. ok bare with me here,this is the constitutional law which is the only law for canada and im sure its the same in usa i will look.were excluded!i drive a personal conveyance vehicle that i own personally.the only vehicle that needs liscensing is a vehicle used in commerce.this is how i drive without problems.i have looked into changing the law act or statute here but the law is above.there is over 6 million laws but that is the only one i need to ride.this is only for me personally.:cool:
  8. kerf

    kerf Guest

    The U. S. Constitution, is a contract between the States, that established, defined and limited the authority of the Federal Government. A central theme of that contract was the autonomy of the individual States in managing affairs on their own soil. This would include traffic laws, in other words the laws pertaining to MB can and do vary state to state. The NTSB and DOT can establish minimum standards but nothing stops individual states from exceeding those standards (e.g. California vs EPA on emission standards). The issue of MB friendly laws, I believe, is a state by state issue. Sorry, no shortcuts.

    If I'm in error, someone please straighten me out.
  9. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Guess what I just found.

    By Representative Millican
    RFD Judiciary
    Rd 1 15-MAR-2001

    This bill would define motorized bicycle and would exempt a motorized bicycle from the requirement to register certain motorized vehicles.This bill would provide that the operator of a motorized bicycle would have all the rights and would be subject to all of the duties applicable to the operator of a bicycle.This bill would require an operator of a motorized bicycle to possess an operator's license or a drivers' license.This bill would provide that an operator would not be required to register the motorized bicycle in order to operate it on a roadway.

    A BILL
    AN ACT

    To amend Sections 32-8-2 and 32-8-31, Code of Alabama 1975, to exempt motorized bicycles from the requirement to register; to grant the operator of a motorized bicycle all of the rights and to subject the operator to all of the duties applicable to bicycle operators; and to further provide that the operator of a motorized bicycle is required to possess an operator's license in order to operate a motorized bicycle on a roadway.

    Doesn't say what happened to it, I,ll research and get back.
  10. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I've emailed Rep. Millican and inquired into the current status of Ala. 2001-HB630. Hopefully I can establish a dialog and find out what precipitated this effort and how to revive it if it has in fact died. This may be a lesson in how to change state laws here and in other states. More to follow:
  11. kerf

    kerf Guest

    As promised, I'm back with an update. I have talked to Ala. Rep. Millican's office, who is the Representative from Winston County, that sponsored legislation to classify motorized bicycles as bicycled under the Ala. DMV. That bill would exempt MB's from the current Registration and Title Law. The bill passed the Ala. House in 2001 but died in the Senate. His assistant, that I spoke with, said the best bet was to get someone in the Senate to sponsor the bill and it could be revived.

    Hey, Mickey and Bamabikeguy, we need to talk. We may have a real opportunity here to break new ground and establish a model for others to follow. None of us wants to go through what Torques underwent, this may be a real chance to make a difference.
  12. mojoruss

    mojoruss Guest

    I, for one, would not support this sort of governmental intrusion into my biking.... Did no one notice that although they proposed to do away with requirements for registration, that they blithely decided to tack on the requirement of an operators license???? To me, biking, be it pedal powered or motor assisted, is "all" about freedom from government... I would not in any way whatsoever want to see any motor assisted bike operator be required to have an operators license.... The whole reason I gave away my cars/motorcycles was to not have to deal with governmental regulations and intrusion.... I certainly do not see this as 'freedom' at all.... Seems like just another example of a governmental entity runnung hither and yon making regulations where none are neccessary. Count me out!!!!:mad:.......mojo
  13. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Under current law a MB is a MOTORCYCLE!!!! That already requires a license plus registration, tag, brake lights, turn signals etc. So whats your point?
  14. mojoruss

    mojoruss Guest

    What current law?? What state?? In alot of the states, the law reads "under X cc/incapable of X mph.. Then, it classes as a motor assisted bicycle that needs no registration and no operators license... Granted, most of us will be travelling in excess of the posted speed limit, but that is up to the individual to determine his or her own risk/safety zone.... I welcome no government intervention into power assisted biking...
  15. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-8-11. Don't know how it is where you live, but here a MB is neither fish nor fowl. So the local PD puts them where they want to.
  16. mickey

    mickey Guest


    Trip Pittman is my newly elected Senator (special election in district 32). I'll write him tonight about Ala. 2001-HB630. Since he's new, I hope he will be interested in some green constituent service.

  17. kerf

    kerf Guest

  18. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Changing Alabama Law

    I've sent a letter to my State Senator, Linda Coleman, requesting that she sponsor a bill in the Alabama Senate based House Bill 630-2001. This would define a motorized bicycle as a bicycle and allow its operation on public roadways under current bicycle laws. It would exempt MB from the need to obtain a title or tag. I'm hopeful that I will get an affirmative response from the good Senator and this legislation can be revived.

    While I've encountered police from many jurisdictions in my travels, without problem, there is always the first time. I never try to hide what I'm doing, but would much prefer to be legal. I hope this little trip into the legislative process works and doesn't end in a crash and burn. I'll let you know when I get a response to my letter.
  19. kerf

    kerf Guest

    In starting this thread, I hoped to resurrect a bill in the Alabama Legislature that would legalize MB's. Mickey and I both wrote our respective Alabama Senators and requested that this be taken up but neither received much response. It's plain to see, that an individual stands little chance of getting any attention from our elected officials. I was thinking of trying again, this time with a petition, with maybe a thousand signatures. If many of these signatures were not Ala. residents, would anyone be the wiser?

    I'm wondering about some sort of an on line petition through MBc's, that Mickey and I could use to get a response from the legislature. If we could get it to work here, it could work in other states as well. We're not asking much, just a clarification of the law, grouping MB's in with bicycles as far as registration and insurance laws are concerned. I would welcome any ideas on this subject.
  20. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Sweet thread!!

    What's needed??

    (1) The online petition
    (2) A list of State & US congressmen
    (3) A template where we fill in the congressman's name, our name, & maybe a custom paragraph each individual can add their own little touch to.

    Now somebody mostly has to find sites for the first 2, but kerf prolly has a good idea for what our template should look like.

    Could you imagine all the active members of MBc sending letters & emails all at once to everyone of his/her elected officials?