What's needed?

K

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.
 
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I

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.

Denny
 
K

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.
 
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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.
 

loquin

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
2,214
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.
 
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K

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?
 
B

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:
 
K

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.
 
K

kerf

Guest
Guess what I just found.


HB630
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
TO BE ENTITLED
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.
 
K

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:
 
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