Teenage e-bicyclist killed in Tucson crash

7/26/2022 ~ 830am. Fatal collision between an e-bicyclist and heavy truck, along E 22nd St near Pantano, Tucson. According to the police/news report the cyclist was headed westbound in the eastbound bike lane when he collided with a semi-truck emerging from a private drive. Continue reading “Teenage e-bicyclist killed in Tucson crash”

HIT RUN ALERT: red 2-door, 12th St near AZ Canal, Phx

UPDATE: a newer version of the KTAR story says police believe the suspect vehicle is an older Porsche, red 2-door.

Friday 1/14/2021 ~ 1:30AM. A man riding an electric bicycle 12th St near the Arizona Canal, Phoenix and was struck after falling in the street. The criminal driver fled eastbound on Wagon Wheel dr, police say the suspect vehicle is a red 2-door (sedan, i guess?)

Drivers who flee are usually impaired; driver Alexandra Mendez was arrested last week in connection with the killing of a Chris Owan near Luke AFB before Christmas.

Also note that electric bikes riders are classified as “drivers” (and not bicyclists/pedalcyclists) for statistical purposes.

Continue reading “HIT RUN ALERT: red 2-door, 12th St near AZ Canal, Phx”

hit and run in East Mesa; driver arrested

2/15/2021 ~ 4PM. Driver was sb on 98th St at Broadway Rd and failed to yield at a stop sign to a motorized bicyclist wb along Broadway. The motorized bicyclist sustained life-threatening injuries. The driver fled the scene, a neighbor recognized the car, and MSCO deputies made an arrest. Continue reading “hit and run in East Mesa; driver arrested”

Is this an e-bike?

Motrino XMr w/pedals attached

A rider near Vancouver, British Columbia was ticketed for operating his device without insurance and driver’s license. The rider claimed his device was a “Motor Assisted Cycle”, as defined in their traffic codes, while police said otherwise. A trial judge went with the police’s interpretation; and an appeal to the BC’s supreme court failed.

Continue reading “Is this an e-bike?”

Phx: man killed in motorized bicycle collision on Buckeye

6/4/2019 Tues morning

The new report says that police say moto-bicyclist Johnny Lee Nero was SB on 16th Ave and collided with a westbound driver on Buckeye after the moto-bicyclist failed to yield at the intersection.

Note that persons riding a motorized bicycle are NOT bicyclists; they are categorized statistically as drivers of a motor vehicle (moped or motorcycle).


Continue reading “Phx: man killed in motorized bicycle collision on Buckeye”

Motorized bicycles, Ebikes and crash reporting

[UPDATE: it seems quite possible something changed after 2020? see comment and stats]

Executive Summary

  • People riding motorized bicycles are categorized as DRIVERS, and not as bicyclists, for crash reporting purposes.
  • How will Ebike crashes be reported?
  • new wildcard: what about escooter crashes?

Each of these has the potential to skew crash reporting statistics. Motorized bicycles have not seen wide use, but ebikes are expected to become much more common

I propose adding a few new “Body Style” definitions: 1) bicycle (well, pedalcycle), 2) motorized bicycle, 3) ebike; this would not require any changes to the Arizona Crash Forms, simply an update to the Crash Form Instruction Manual.

It is expected that ebikes will see large growth in use in the coming years; e.g, the WSJ reported: Continue reading “Motorized bicycles, Ebikes and crash reporting”

Ebike bill rides again

In 2018, Arizona passed e-bike legislation, adopting the model legislation promoted by the industry. Quick reference, as enacted:


[Update — It’s all passed and signed as of 5/16/2018… see below ]
Late in this legislative season (53 2nd regular), an ebike bill has once again surfaced from Rep Worsley; this time as a “striker” in the former dark sky lighting special plates bill HB2266.

The bill is suddenly, as is always the case I guess with strikers, being heard, scheduled for 3/20/2018 in the senate where it passed unanimously… Continue reading “Ebike bill rides again”

Arizona e-bike model municipal law

ca-e-bike-cropped[UPDATE: spring 2018 in AZ State legislature, HB2652, has PASSED; how this relates to local laws isn’t completely clear to me]

This is not coincidentally  similar to legislation passed in California in 2015, and pushed by People For Bikes along with the e-bike industry, so start there. I say similar because it’s odd it doesn’t follow the class 1/2/3 in the CA (and as of Aug 2018 the AZ law?)

Electric bikes fall under the category of what Arizona calls a Motorized Bicycle at the state level. There are a number of gotchas involved, which have been copiously documented on these pages, e.g. start here. The main gotcha is illustrated below about unwittingly needing a drivers license, insurance and registration.

No municipality can fix these gotchas, they can only be addressed by the state legislature. I can only speculate the idea is for Tempe (or whoever; there is similar effort for MAG to recommend/adopt model regulations) to adopt rules that would in effect only kick in when the state “fixes” the state statutes. Continue reading “Arizona e-bike model municipal law”

Motorized Bicycle bill seeks to clarify engine power

[Update as of 2/23/2013, HB2177 has not been assigned to any committee which I imagine means it is dead]

It’s the start of a new legislative season in Arizona, the 51st Regular session, for those keeping track. (find other bills of interest with the legislation tag) Continue reading “Motorized Bicycle bill seeks to clarify engine power”

Motorized Bicycle Law Reforms Proposed

The topic of motorized bicycles (henceforth referred to as MBs) always seems to be controversial. Regardless, the current set of definitions and laws seem to have been drafted in such a way that has led to some interpretations with, in my opinion, absurd results.

There are a set of proposals that seek to amend/clarify MBs positions at kcsbikes.com, and while I don’t necessarily support the specific proposals, but i do think some “reform” of the MB law is definitely needed!

Here are some thoughts off the top of my head about possible reforms:
  1. Incorporate definitions congruent with Federal / CPSC definitions of “low-speed electric bicycles” (750W), the current Arizona definition oddly doesn’t mention electric power rating.
  2. I can’t imagine the cc limit would ever get raised
  3. The mph business should be changed to an *equipment* limitation and not an operating limitation; see other state’s laws on the topic e.g. CA language CVC 406b, something to the effect of the motor “is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than xx miles per hour on level ground”. There should be no prohibition on operating speed (the usual speed laws, that apply to everybody, of course apply to MBs, as they do to bicyclists and no explicit reference is needed or desirable)
  4. somehow cities/localities should try be prevented from trying to (mis)apply local “play vehicle” ordinances to MBs
  5. While we’re at it, a good clarification would be to state explicitly that the definition of moped that the speed mentioned is an equipment definition; some have argued this is an operational restriction, though I would disagree.  I.e. 28-101(31) “Moped” means a bicycle that is equipped with a helper motor if the vehicle has a maximum piston displacement of fifty cubic centimeters or less, a brake horsepower of one and one-half or less CAPABLE OF PROPELLING AT a maximum speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less on a flat surface with less than a one per cent grade.

Apparently some places (the prime example i know of is Tucson), the police/city currently consider MBs operated at 20 or above to be mopeds (or possibly motorcycles); and that this leads to a cascade of potential criminal charges and large fines including 1) driving without a drivers license (if applicable), 2) violation of financial responsibility / no insurance, and 3) driving without registration. Continue reading “Motorized Bicycle Law Reforms Proposed”

Moto-bicyclist killed in Tempe hit-and-run

In an update to this July 2010 story, as the City of Tempe prepares to turn off its photo-enforcement effective July 19, 2011, police mention that those very photos were instrumental in capturing the suspect, Cody Davis, who fled the scene. See Police: Photo enforcement’s impact goes well beyond traffic infractions from the EVtrib.

UPDATE: Police arrest suspect 7/17/2010 [abc15] “Tempe police say Cody Ryan Davis has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident in the death of Bradley Jason Scott, 32, Continue reading “Moto-bicyclist killed in Tempe hit-and-run”

Is it illegal to ride a motorized bicycle on the sidewalk in Phoenix?

Story from the Arizona Republic; I copied the whole thing because it was only a few sentences long (my emphasis added):

Woman dies when motorized bike collides with car in Phoenix
by Jack Highberger – Jan. 20, 2011 12:26 PM The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
A 53-year-old woman died Tuesday night (1/18/2011) when her motorized bicycle collided with a car on Dunlap and 25th avenues.
The woman was driving the motorized bicycle on a sidewalk when she entered the crosswalk and collided with the car, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department.
She was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
She was taken to the hospital where she later died. The driver of the car, who is also a 53-year-old woman, was not charged by Phoenix police. Authorities said it’s illegal to operate a motorized vehicle on a sidewalk.

First off, let me say that this type of collision is pretty common, and it is exactly why sidewalk cycling, motorized or not, is not recommended. But is it illegal? Continue reading “Is it illegal to ride a motorized bicycle on the sidewalk in Phoenix?”

CPSC and Tucson’s Motorized Bicycle Ordinance

[2018 UPDATE: city codes now define electric bikes as separate and distinct from “gas-powered” bicycles]

There is a one-page .pdf published by the city of Tucson that explains the ordinance — to find it, go to www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bicycle and click on “motorized bikesContinue reading “CPSC and Tucson’s Motorized Bicycle Ordinance”

Is your ebike a play vehicle?

[UPDATE: Arizona STATE law was updated to explicitly define ebikes in 2018.
Tempe has updated their ordinances a couple of years ago (2019?) to explicitly include ebikes; and Phoenix did so in March 2022. So the article below, written in 2009 is here more for historical purposes.
HOWEVER many many other cities and towns have this “trap” in their local ordinances]

Original title: Is your motorized bike a play vehicle?

First, see Moped and Motorized Bicycles in Arizona for general background on Motorized Bicycles. Sort of unfortunately, every individual city or jurisdiction can have their own codes further regulating things. Continue reading “Is your ebike a play vehicle?”