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Discussion in 'Laws and Legislation for Motorized Bicycles' started by FileStyle, Jun 5, 2008.
what laws are in Ill. has anyone any info.
I am interested in this as well, as they seem to be very gray at best. Here is a copy of an e-mail that I just sent to the IL Secretary of State. I'll let you know what (if ANYTHING) I hear back from them.
Here's a copy of my e-mail to them:
Due to the incredible gas prices lately, I have been looking into alternate transportation to work. My question pertains to the requirements for a power-assisted bicycle. I have searched high and low and have not yet found ANY specific Illinois guidelines for them. I am wanting to buy one of these but want to make sure I'm in compliance with the law before doing so. I think it was the $95 cost to fill my van that finally made me start thinking about alternate transportation. By riding my power-assisted bicycle to work each day, I would save $10 a day, get some exercise, and use less foreign-sourced fuel. Please let me know how Illinois addresses power-assisted bicycles.
Well, even if it is legal as far as the state is concerned, I found that my own city and at least one more in my travel path has specifically banned these things. I sent the following letter to my city's mayor and all of the councilmen...let's see where it goes:
Good afternoon council members. My name is Warner Xxxxxxxxxxx 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
Can you post a copy of the Elgin law saying they are banned? I'd be interested in reading it.
Okay, here is the first part where they define what a motor-driven cycle is, referring to State of Illinois definitions:
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 § 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:
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 § 1, 2003)
By the way, the neighboring town (Hoffman Estates) also has the same type of ordinance against them.
I can't beleive they can outlaw a motorcycle/scooter/ect based on engine size! That's not possible. What if your only mode of transportation was a "legit" Yamaha 50cc scooter like the Vino? Or a Honda Elite 80? That is a law that can't hold up in court.
They simply can not tell you you can't operate a legal vehicle on the street, period.
I don't know about that. Why wouldn't it hold up in court? I was thinking the same thing though as far as the Honda Elite.....pretty restrictive law I think!
How can it? That's no different than saying "No person shall operate a V8 powered automobile" or "No person shall operate an automobile with an engine smaller than six cylinders".
Or for that matter, "No motorcycles allowed".
Or "No one under five feet six inches tall allowed in public buildings".
I completely agree with you. But if the ordinance is in place, it's the law. I'm anxiously awaiting a response from SOMEONE there.
Laws can be challenged. You can't just say "No one allowed in three piece suits."
I'm no lawyer, but I know that certain laws are put in place by folks who want to have things their way, regardless of legality.
What happens to unsuspecting people who would say, ride into town on a small LEGAL scooter like an Elite CH80 of other?
Laws CAN be challenged for sure. It usually only takes 3 things....money, money, and more money. Hehe. I did hear back from one of the councilmen, with what sounded to me like he was washing his hands of it. Here was his response:
I have forwarded you e-mail to the city legal department. They are better suited to handle your problem."
Sounds like a blow-off to you guys? I replied thanking him for the response and letting him know that I look forward to hearing from the city's legal department on the issue. Not holding my breath, but we'll see what happens.
Definitely sounds like they blew you off. Typical.
I just purchased a kit, I'll be riding to work regardless. Local ordinance tickets are probably much less than gas or traffic citations.
I'm sure the reason for the law is to provide more income from registration, gas and traffic taxes.
Thank you very much for writing to the Secretary of state on this. It's probably going to take more than one email from multiple people to get any kind of response. If you wouldn't mind posting the email address you used i'll gladly send a message of my own.
I just clicked on a button to send the e-mail to the Secretary of State. You can find it here:
Actually, it's $100 per incident. I would LIKE to think that they'd leave us alone, but don't want to bet the price of the kit that I want (over $700) and the cost of the ticket ($100 to start), AND all the BS I'd hear from my wife on it! Here's the specific wording of the ordinance in Elgin:
A motor driven or electric cycle operated in violation of this chapter shall be subject to seizure and impoundment under this section. The owner of such motor driven or electric cycle shall be liable to the city for a penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00).
A. Whenever a police officer has probable cause to believe that a motor driven or electric cycle is subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this section, the police officer shall provide for the removal of the motor driven or electric cycle to a facility controlled by the city or its agents. When the vehicle is impounded, the police officer shall notify the person who is found to be in control of the motor driven or electric cycle at the time of the alleged violations, if there is such a person, of the fact of the seizure and of the vehicle owner's right to request a preliminary hearing to be conducted under this section.
B. Whenever the owner of a motor driven or electric cycle seized pursuant to this section requests a preliminary hearing within twelve (12) hours after the seizure, a deputy police chief of the city or his designee shall conduct such preliminary hearing within twenty four (24) hours after the seizure, excluding Sundays and holidays. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the preliminary hearing. The formal rules of evidence will not apply at the hearing. If, after the hearing, the deputy police chief or his designee determines that there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle was used in a violation of this chapter, he shall order the continued impoundment of the motor driven or electric cycle as provided in this section unless the owner of the vehicle posts with the city a cash bond in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). If the deputy police chief or his designee determines that there is no such probable cause, the motor driven or electric cycle will be returned without penalty or other fees.
C. Within ten (10) days after the motor driven or electric cycle is seized and impounded pursuant to this section, the city shall notify by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, the owner of the date, time and location of a hearing that will be conducted pursuant to this section. The hearing shall be scheduled and held, unless continued by order of the court or hearing officer, no later than thirty (30) days after the motor driven or electric cycle was seized. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the hearing. If after a hearing, it is determined by a preponderance of evidence that the motor driven or electric cycle was used in violation of this chapter, the motor driven or electric cycle shall continue to be impounded until the owner pays a penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The penalty shall be a debt due and owing the city. However, if a cash bond has been posted the bond shall be applied to the penalty. If it is determined at a hearing that the motor driven or electric cycle was not used in violation of this chapter, the motor driven or electric cycle or cash bond shall be returned without penalty or other fees.
D. Any motor driven or electric cycle that is not reclaimed within thirty (30) days after the expiration of the time during which the owner may seek judicial review of the city's actions under this section, or the time at which a final judgment is rendered in favor of the city, or the time a final administration decision is rendered against an owner who is in default, may be disposed of as an unclaimed motor driven or electric cycle as provided by law. (Ord. G81-03 § 1, 2003)
Good luck and let me know how it works out for you!
"YOU REALLY SHOULD READ & PUT SOME THOUGHT INTO IT"
Dear all, I will be around to follow up on this. I will also have a more definative idea later.
Unfortunately, in a lot of places these bikes are illegal or restricted. I dont understand why a small 33cc golden eagle bicycle kit would not be allowed in some states. it is not fair to people who enjoy riding a bicycle, but because of bad knees or what ever- they have to give the hobby up. mopeds are great, but only if you are capable of coming up with the money. what it cost to buy a moped, most people have to set aside for emergency money. lot of people are just too poor or hard up to even buy something that will save them money.
Strange thing is that those little bike kits arent given the same consideration as the electric ones. electric is good, but not always feasable.
I do know one thing. Our main stream society really doesnt like motored bikes or mopeds. A lot of states pass discouraging laws for that reason..
They say the majority rules this country. I think that the "majority rules" thing stinks. A closed minded majority runs our country while the silent minority continues to shut up.
There is absolutely no reason why every state couldnt be open to a small 33cc bicycle engine for older or not such good of shape people who just dont want to give up cycling.
Furthermore, a country that has such manipulative legislation to bring about desired social results, is not a free country.....
Oh well, i guess you have deny some freedoms for the benefit of so called safety and the convienance of drivers and pedestrians who dont like having motored bicyclists around.....
We really should band together and change this. There is no reason that a small 33cc engine kit could not be considered a consumer product just like the electric kits.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! anything powered by gas is classified as a motor vehicle.....
Does that mean a hedge trimmer is not a consumer product and therefore needs a liscense plate in order to trim a damn bush!?
Think about. Our apathy has alot to do with why we not a real free country, among other things.
Bikeguy Joe..ing under the radar for 35 years.