Here’s a quick Idaho Code lesson: motorized bicycles are not allowed in dedicated bike lanes

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.

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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.

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3 thoughts on “Here’s a quick Idaho Code lesson: motorized bicycles are not allowed in dedicated bike lanes

  1. Hello,

    I read that “you do not need a driver’s license or insurance to ride a motorized bicycle on the street”

    I just wanted to confirm this. I have looked and searched and keep getting mixed answers. I do not currently have a DL and want to get a little electric scooter (goes maybe 20 mph) has lights, turn signals, horn and brakes, to use to get to school this summer since I am taking summer classes. Would I have to have a license? If I can ride the scooter would I just obey the laws as I would a bicycle?

    Thank you

  2. If you have a motor assisted bicycle it must not exceed 49cc and not have a top speed exceeding 30 mph on flat terrain unassisted. If your motor assisted bicycle falls into these specifications and does not exceed 2 wheels then you are NOT considered a “motor vehicle”. In this scenario the mab is considered a bicycle and therefore all road laws pertaining to bicycles apply except where expressly addressed in law or ordinance. Said assisted bicycle is also allowed in all bicycle lanes and sidewalks unless otherwise posted or prohibited!

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