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Hell on wheels: pocket bikes face new regs in LA

by server213.com Saturday, Apr. 16, 2005 at 9:18 PM

Members of the Los Angeles Police Department praised Councilman Dennis Zine as his motion regulating the sale of mini motorcycles - commonly known as pocket bikes - gained the final approval of the city council.

Hell on wheels: pocket bikes face new regs in LA
Published on www.server213.com

Los Angeles -- Members of the Los Angeles Police Department praised Councilman Dennis Zine as his motion regulating the sale of mini motorcycles - commonly known as pocket bikes - gained the final approval of the city council.

During todays council meeting, city council members voted unanimously to support Zines measure, which requires pocket bike vendors to post all relevant laws pertaining to their use at the point of purchase. Additionally, this law requires vendors to place decals on the mini motorcycles to remind riders that they are for use on private - not public - property.

In California, pocket bikes are illegal on public streets, but they still pose a major safety hazard to riders, motorists, and pedestrians. Standing barely 20 inches tall, they weigh between 35-60 pounds and place riders at eye level with the bumper of most oncoming vehicles making pocket bike riders all but invisible to the average motorist. Often pocket bikes are built without required safety features such as brake lights, rear reflectors, mirrors and turn signals.

These dangerous machines may look like toys, but they are hell on wheels, said Zine. My goal is to see that everyone, riders and public alike know the law. It seems only logical the city should do what it can to regulate pocket bikes that allow residents, most often children, to ride at high speeds only inches off the ground.

Los Angeles public streets, in both commercial and residential areas, have seen a sudden increase in the number of mini-motorcycles being driven by both children and adults. With a noise level equal to that of a lawnmower, and a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour, pocket bikes are a growing concern for local residents and police.

The Los Angeles Police Department - along with the California Highway Patrol - have reported numerous injuries and fatalities associated with pocket bikes.

LAPD, Valley Traffic Division, Captain Ron Marbrey thanked Councilman Zine for implementing this motion, adding that this law will allow officers to both educate the public and regulate vendors.
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