These Gas Powered Motorized Bicycles Are Illegal On Public Streets
Have you seen these around town lately? Bicycles being ridden on our streets that are equipped with a gas powered motor to make it go rather than the traditional pedal and person power? No, I'm not talking about motorcycles. These are bicycles fitted with small gas powered motors.
Well, I have. And I've observed a couple of incidents where the rider/driver slows down for a red light, and then proceeds through it as if the rules of stopping and waiting for the light to turn green, does not apply to them. That's not safe and it's illegal, if I understand the laws correctly. And there have been accidents involving these motorized bicycles locally.
The Johnson City Police Department's Facebook page has issued an announcement about these gas powered motorized bicycles, mentioning them as illegal on public streets. The Johnson City Police Department posts states:
"Bicycles are being retro-fitted with small gas motors that allow the bicycle to be powered exclusively without the rider having to pedal, and allows for the bicycle to travel at unsafe speeds that bicycles are not designed or equipped to handle."
These bicycles don't meet safety standards and they can't be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, so if they are being operated on the streets, they are illegal.
And this brings up another important message from the Johnson City Police Department: Bicyclists must adhere to the rules of the road. That includes obeying traffic lights and stop signs. I've seen riders zip right through both too many times, and sometimes without even looking for oncoming traffic.
Also, I have noticed too many bicycle riders on the wrong side of the road. The law is to ride with traffic, not against. And be aware of the rules in any municipality where you are riding a bicycle. While it is not a New York State law, some municipalities may prohibit riding bicycles on sidewalks.