Did you know that riding a bicycle with a motor in a dedicated bike lane — or on a sidewalk — is against the law in Idaho?
Did you also know that motorized bikes need a stoplight, taillight, and a horn? If they don’t have those items, motorized bikes are not street legal. And it’s not just those three items. For a complete list of what is needed for a motorized bicycle to be legal, check out http://www.itd.idaho.gov/dmv/driverservices/documents/motorcycle_manual.pdf
We were recently contacted by a member of the public on our ACSO Twitter (@AdaCoSheriff) asking for clarity on what the rules were for bikes with a motor.
If you want to do a deep dive, check out Idaho Code 49-114 (http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title49/T49CH1SECT49-114.htm).
We’ll stick to the main points here. One thing motorized cyclists do not need to be street legal is to have a driver’s license or insurance.
The main point is this. Once someone puts a motor on a bike, it is becomes just like a motorcycle, scooter, or moped — when the motor is on. That means they are just like a car or any other motorized vehicle and must follow all regular traffic rules.
If the motor is on and the cyclist is still pedaling, that doesn’t matter. It’s still a motorized vehicle.
The only way such vehicles can be legally in a dedicated bike lane is if the cyclist has turned the motor off and is pedaling.
If cyclists use a motor and are in a dedicated bike lane, they risk getting a ticket. If they do not have the legally required equipment, they risk getting a ticket.