700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a Motorized Scooter

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jeffason
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700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a Motorized Scooter

Sonoma, CA

March 28th I was ticketed for driving my 700li without a helmet, and for driving without a license and motorcycle endorsement. The funny thing is that I actually have a my license and endorsement, but at the time I only had an ID card, and did not make any indication of citing me for this. I showed him the pedals, the chain, told him the description and why its legal and doesn't need to be registered. He had no idea and called the CHP to take a look. The whole process took about an hour, with a lot of standing around, as they were really treating me like a criminal.

So I have this joke of a ticket with three infractions. I am doing a trial by mail, and am sharing information about SR 1156 and HR 727.The citation listed my vehicle as an "Xtreme Motor Scooter". This is obviously incorrect, as I even said it was an Xtreme Electric Bicycle. I am including statistics about the bicycle. Should I include a full stat sheet? Pictures?

Specifically:
SR 1156
The US Senate has passed SR 1156, clearing the way for a legal definition of an electric bicycle in the USA. President Bush has signed this law, and it is in effect. The new law assigns the governance of electric bicycles to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and will define a bicycle that has pedals, (and is capable of being propelled by those pedals) an electric motor of no more than 750 watts, and a top speed (on motor only) of 20 mph as a "bicycle." As a bicycle, therefore, you do not need a license, registration, or insurance.

HR 727
Federal law says that an electrically driven bicycle is considered a "bicycle" and the laws of bicycles
apply if:
o Electrically driven bicycle has less than 750 watt motor
o Functional pedals
o Max speed is less than 20mph
ยท

jeffason
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

The Federal law shall supersede any State law or requirement with respect to low-speed electric bicycles, to the extent that such State law or requirement is more stringent than the Federal law or requirements. (The state must regulate the electric bicycle as a bicycle)

The law in california about bicycles is that they do not need a license, cannot be driven on sidewalks, do not need a helmet, and can be driven on bike paths. I was told earlier that day by a CSO, a almost cop that drives a pickup truck, that I cannot drive it on the bike path or I would be ticketed, because he was not listening that it has pedals and is very slow.

So basically thats my situation. I hope someone has some tips to add before I submit my case. If I loose, I could take it to a regular trial. I now will carry more documents with me when I ride, just in case.

slomove
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

there are also the California Vehicle Code sections 406(b)and 24016 with an even more generous 1000 W limit. I guess the problem is that the 700li just looks like a scooter.

406(b)A "motorized bicycle" is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements: (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts. (2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level. (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.

24016
Motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria: (1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles. (2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function. (b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406: (1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212. (2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5. (3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle. (4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older. (5) Every manufacturer of a motorized bicycle shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.). (c) No person shall tamper with or modify a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 so as to increase the speed capability of the bicycle.

bickyd1a
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

I was pulled over in San Diego, CA. riding a 700Li. I had a copy of CA 24016 and HR 727 along with a copy of the the mfg specs. I always wear a helmet and the officers had me on my way within 5-10 minutes. Since then I have been pass by SD police and CHP numerous times with no problems. Check my post "Pulled over in San Diego".
Wear a helmet and be safe.
Happy Scooting,
Bickyd

dogman
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

You should win your case, when you show them the state definitions of a bicycle, and show the judge that you have fully operable pedals. You should wear a helmet. Unless you are Gary Busey.

Be the pack leader.
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andys
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

The current state budget issues are sending law enforcement agents out as revenue collectors in mass in many states right now. In California, they may not have money for the schools and such, but they found plenty of money to buy hundreds of new motorcycles to send their paid storm troopers out after our wallets. what makes me sick about this, is what social value does it have for someone to hassle and ticket a person riding an electric bicycle/low power scooter? Its pitiful, it really is.

By the way, wear a helmet! 15 to 20 MPH is plenty fast enough to kill you. I got knocked down unexpectedly last year at under 20 MPH, hit my head on the street with a surprisingly violent force,and broke my helmet in 2 places. I'd be dead instead of typing this if I wasn't wearing a helmet.

executorvs
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

don't be confused by how HR727 has been presented by people for marketing. What it says is that An electric bike remaining within the specifications laid out in HR727 will be regarded simply as a bicycle for purposes of safety standards. This supersedes any state law that is more stringent, but only regarding safety equipment required on electric bicycles and the standard of manufacture they must meet.

the federal law doesn't the mandate legality of use in any state. Actually, it restricts use as the default on some trails which are constructed using federal funds leaving the power to counter said legislation to state and municipal governments.

I have been trying to clarify the wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#Federal_Laws_and_Regulation) in my free time. I have not had time to check the section for California yet however. I have included many reference sites on the discussion page of the article though if you're interested.

also, if you're bored or find any errors post a comment on the discussion page and I'll try to find any clarifying material I can. so far I've gotten only a few states and the US and Canadian Federal law done.

jeffason
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

Thank you for the information and replys.

At first I thought 1156 and 727 replaced vehicle code, but you are saying it relates to matters such as how its produced and sold and safety and that it requires a bicycle helmet. I understand what you are saying and it seems like it basically means DOT doesn't approve these vehicles, the consumer products group does.

So it appears all electric bikes, not just 700li, cannot legally be driven on most california bike paths, and also you need a helmet.

The officer cited me not for 406(b) violation, but for a no helmet on a motorized scooter, 21235. I am guessing this is a stiffer fine.

I don't mind being guilty of 406(b) for no helmet ...I failed to observe the law. But since the original citation was wrong maybe I'm off the hook.

Helmets are a good idea. It was my 'maiden' voyage, and I really thought it was optional. Hopefully this info helps someone out there.

executorvs
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

I don't know if you saw this: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc24016.htm
24016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:

(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles.
....
(2b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:

(b1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

(b2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

(b3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.

it says you're a bicycle and you need a helment
there is a procedure sheet for registration of an electrically powered bicycle, but I think the law above would conflict with it. I would bring the law above as well as the 21200.5 law and use those for your arguement.

executorvs
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

21207.5. Notwithstanding Sections 21207 and 23127 of this code, or any other provision of law, no motorized bicycle may be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established pursuant to Section 21207, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, unless it is within or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local authority or the governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction over such path or trail permits, by ordinance, such operation.

so depends where you were.
and also
21209. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane
established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207 except as follows:

(1) To park where parking is permitted.
(2) To enter or leave the roadway.
(3) To prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the
intersection.
(b) This section does not prohibit the use of a motorized bicycle
in a bicycle lane, pursuant to Section 21207.5
, at a speed no greater
than is reasonable or prudent, having due regard for visibility,
traffic conditions, and the condition of the roadway surface of the
bicycle lane, and in a manner which does not endanger the safety of
bicyclists.

benmart
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

Was the agency the Sonoma Sheriff's Department or the Sonoma City Police? I keep a laminated copy of the California Vehicle Code in my saddlebag and haven't been stopped since Aug 08. Then again I always wear a DOT helmet, reflective vest, gloves, eye protection...you get the idea. CHP, the local PD and the SO just drives by and pays me no attention.

As a former Deputy Sheriff and having a a step-son who is a local cop, I don't believe our local police are going out of their way to increase revenues via traffic tickets. There have always been an overbundance of speeders, cell-phone chatters and other law breakers regardless of the economic weather.

Ben - Modesto

jeffason
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

It was a Sheriff in a Sonoma Police car. I now wear my sport bike helmet when I ride, and while I haven't had any trouble, I haven't seen any police.

proton
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

maybe vectrix can slap some barely functional pedals on theirs too ?
Funny u never mentioned if you were PEDALING at the time they stopped you
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.....
Let this be a lesson to those who are considering buying this thing from xtreme, pretending to be an e-bike

The LiFepo4 BattMan www.falconev.com

benmart
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Re: 700li Police Ticket in California, Insisted it was a ...

I seriously doubt that the "Duck" defense would stand up in court.

"Let this be a lesson to those who are considering buying this thing from xtreme, pretending to be an e-bike".

The 700Li is an electric powered bicycle per the State of California. I am curious if you own one or is your expertise limited to opinion and not ownership.

I've have had mine since August 2008 and it has it's limitations such as speed,etc. I knew that when I bought it. The State of California classifies it as an electric assisted bicycle which has more standing than any other label you may tag it with.

Ben - Modesto

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