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RPD issues reminder about motorized bicycles

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The Roswell Police Department’s Traffic Division on Tuesday reminded local residents who ride around town on bicycles, which have been modified by the additions of gas-powered engines, that there are laws that must be adhered to regarding these motorized bicycles.

The law defines such a vehicle as a “motor-driven cycle” and requires its operator to have a Class D license — the same type required to operate a regular vehicle, according to a press release issued by the police department.

If the bike is capable of traveling more than 30 mph or has an engine of more than 49 cubic centimeters, the operator’s license must include the proper endorsement required for the size of engine installed on the bike and the operator must also have the bike registered and possess proper insurance.

Operators of these motorized bikes are also required to use eye protection when riding, according to the press release. If the operator is younger than 18, a helmet is also required and the juvenile operator is not allowed to have a passenger on the bike.

Another important factor to note is that the safety of the motorized bicycles is often compromised when an engine is added to a pedal bike without upgrades being made to bike components, such as the tires and suspension. Without improving the tires and suspension, those parts may not be able to handle the speeds and power the bike is capable of with the engine. That can result in failure of the parts and lead to an accident. A local man suffered serious injuries in such an accident recently, according to the press release.

For more information and to discuss specific questions about the laws regarding motorized bicycles or other motor-driven cycles, call the Roswell Police Department, 575-624-6770, and speak to Traffic Officer Adam Rhodes.