My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: illinois
I have a bicycle that i built out of a couple of parts from different 10 speed bikes, so as to make it look like a chopper bike. I then purchased a 49cc 2 cycle engine (less than 1 hp)bike kit off the Internet.My entire intent was to build a bike that i could ride without a license.Mine has been revoked.
which is why i bought less than 50 cc to keep it from being a moped.
On 7/17/10 i was ridding my bike south bound on Vandyke between grand and Eldorado. my bike was under full power by the time i was half way to Eldorado when i noticed a police officer sitting on the east side of van dyke with the front of his car pointing north. He was parked in the storage parking lot.
Of course i was nervous having dealt with police before over issues in my past.
Before reaching Eldorado i slowed and used my left hand to signal that i was going to turn left .Then i stopped at the red light. I was still unaware that there was a cop right behind me. I latter found out that he pulled out behind me and was tailing me to get my speed. He said that he saw and heard that the motor was running and that i was not peddling, He also said that his speedometer reading was 30-35 mph.
I turned left onto Eldorado as i took off i was peddling the bike and slowly releasing the clutch wile giving the engine gas by twisting the throttle on the right handle bar.If i do not peddle this bike on take off it while die. The engine does not have enough power to move this bike without assistance.The clutch also has to be released slowly, even wile peddling to keep the engine from dieing.This makes it impossible for this bike to start moving by engine power alone without dieing.
I continued east on Eldorado and prepared to turn right on Monroe . I am still unaware that there is a police officer tailing me. the light was green so as i approached Monroe I signaled that i would be turning right.
I stuck my left arm out at a 90 degree angle to the left with my elbow bent up ward and my hand open to signal my right turn. I turned south on Monroe and immediately signaled to turn right in the alley at my home.
I turned the bike into the alley and stopped it at the steps leading to the front door.
As i got off the bike and turned around i say a cop car in front of the alley stopped.
He proceeded to right the tickets of which i will send to you with this letter. When i tried to explain that i built the bike with the new law in mind and to my understanding, but he didn't listen.
my bike was towed to prairie land towing.
the cop told me that if i didn't believe that it should have been towed i would have to file for a hearing with his shift commander which i did.
When i got to the police station to file the paper i spoke with a Sgt. there and with the new law in hand tried to explain my point to no avail. He like the other officer didn't want to here me.
i was sent a hearing date to appear at the civic center for unauthorized motor vehicle city laws.
There was a hearing and they continued it so the officer could show up and testify.
i they went to the states attorney traffic on 8-11-10 at 3:00pm and spoke to mike baggett. I explained what happened and showed him the laws that were passed on 1-1-10.I also had a copy of the police report from my hearing with the city. He read everything brought his law books out and finally concurred with me and dismissed all of the tickets he also noted on the dismissal; paper that the tickets did not apply and that his dismissing was based on what he read from the police report " see police report".
I went home with a feeling of vindication. I called prairie land towing to arrange for pick up of my bike and was told by them that there was a police hold on it and that i would have to speak to the police.
Friday morning a went to the police station with the dismissal paper and spoke to an officer after waiting 3 hours.
He said that he had to speak with his boss and left. Upon his arrival he said that they had to talk to the states attorney and would call me Monday.
On 8-20-10 I went to my city hearing and the state attorney was there and testified that he changed his mind and was now under the understanding that this was a motor vehicle and not a low speed gas bicycle. He testified that after he spoke to a police officer who contacted him about this matter and read a new follow up report by the police that he changed his mind.
After his testimony and guilty verdict he the states attorney handed me a paper folded up. As i walked down the hall i opened it and read it. It has a motion to reinstate the charges.
I went back and motioned to him for 1 minute with my pointing finger up to the sky. (not the finger i should have used). And he shook his head no so i turned and left.
I then proceeded to have a bench trial in front of Judge diamond on 4-8-11.
They day before i went in to talk to Assistant Public Defender, Dennis Barnard, who had been assigned to my case.
He pulled out a law book and said "OK, we are dealing with a moped". At which time i said "wait that is a old law book, the new law which i sent to you classifies this bike as a low speed gas assisted bicycle.
He left to get a new law book, and came back empty handed. he also said that he couldn't find my emails. OK Ill bring in a copy early before court.
I gave him his copy before court. In court the prosecutor didn't have the new law or have head about it they also got a copy from me.
Likewise the judge use a copy of mine.
When questions were arisen about this law i tried to speak to clarify but the judge instructed me to "shut up I only want to hear from lawyers".
When the direction of there discussion began to lead to the speed at which the bike was seen to be traveling at. i told my attorney that the other requirements of this statue have to be met before the speed of the bike can have pertinence, as the ,law reads.
2009/2010 Law Update for Law Enforcement
Illinois Secretary of State Police
625 ILCS 5/1-140.10 new, 625 ILCS 5/1-140.15 new, 625 ILCS 5/1-146, 625 ILCS 5/11-1516 new
"Low Speed Electric Bike"
Effective Date: 01/01/10
Public Act: 96-0125 Senate Bill: 0236
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Defines a low-speed electric bicycle as a 2 or 3-wheeled device with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. Excludes low-speed electric bicycles from the definition of "motor vehicle". Prohibits operation of a low-speed electric bicycle at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour upon any highway, street, or roadway. Prohibits operation of a low-speed electric bicycle on a sidewalk. Provides that, except as otherwise provided, the provisions of the Article of the Code dealing with bicycles also apply to low-speed electric bicycles. Adds a definition for a "low-speed gas bicycle" and treats a low-speed gas bicycle the same as a low-speed electric bicycle in a provision regulating the use of low-speed bicycles and a provision excluding low-speed bicycles from the definition of a motor vehicle. Removes the requirement that a person have a valid current Illinois driver's license to operate an electric bicycle.
Excerpt from the Public Act
(625 ILCS 5/1-140.10 new)
Sec. 1-140.10. Low-speed electric bicycle. The term
"low-speed electric bicycle" has the same meaning ascribed to
it by Section 38 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C.
(625 ILCS 5/1-140.15 new)
Sec. 1-140.15. Low-speed gas bicycle. A 2 or 3-wheeled
device with fully operable pedals and a gasoline motor of less
than one horsepower, whose maximum speed on a paved level
surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an
operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour.
(625 ILCS 5/1-146) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-146)
Sec. 1-146. Motor vehicle. Every vehicle which is
self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric
power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated
upon rails, except for vehicles moved solely by human power,
and motorized wheelchairs, low-speed electric bicycles, and
low-speed gas bicycles. For this Act, motor vehicles are
divided into two divisions:
2009/2010 Law Update for Law Enforcement
Illinois Secretary of State Police
First Division: Those motor vehicles which are designed for
the carrying of not more than 10 persons.
Second Division: Those motor vehicles which are designed
for carrying more than 10 persons, those motor vehicles
designed or used for living quarters, those motor vehicles
which are designed for pulling or carrying freight, cargo or
implements of husbandry, and those motor vehicles of the First
Division remodeled for use and used as motor vehicles of the
(Source: P.A. 85-1010.)
(625 ILCS 5/11-1516 new)
Sec. 11-1516. Low-speed bicycles.
(a) A person may operate a low-speed electric bicycle or
low-speed gas bicycle only if the person is at least 16 years
(b) A person may not operate a low-speed electric bicycle
or low-speed gas bicycle at a speed greater than 20 miles per
hour upon any highway, street, or roadway.
(c) A person may not operate a low-speed electric bicycle
or low-speed gas bicycle on a sidewalk.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, the provisions of this Article XV that apply to bicycles also apply to low-speed electric bicycles and low-speed gas bicycles.
After being totally ignored by my attorney and the judge there was a cross examination of the police officer and i told my attorney to ask about the police officer seeing me peddling when i turned onto Eldorado and the officer said that he did see me. I then told my attorney that at the city hearing under oath that i asked the officer the same exact question and he said that he didn't see me peddling at the time of the turn. Straight perjury. My attorney did nothing.
Following are exerts from the city hearing. which cost me 80 dollars.
pg.4 line 12 HEARING OFFICER POWERS: Okay. Please raise
your right hand. The reporter will swear you in.
(Witness duly sworn.)
OFFICER ROBERT HULL,
called as a witness herein, having been first duly
sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MS. WAKS:
pg. 7 line 6 Q. And did you continue to see that the bicycle
was being operated by its motor rather than by its
A. Yes. It was all motor.
pg.8 line 16 Q. And it is your opinion that this vehicle
would fall under the classification of a motor
vehicle because of the speed of the vehicle?
A. Yes. According to the AVC, it was -- if a
vehicle is over 30 miles an hour, it's considered
like a moped. So it is subject to licensing and
insurance and -- as well as requiring a driver's
license to operate.
pg. 9 line 2 HEARING OFFICER POWERS: Mr. Burns, any
questions you'd like to ask Officer Hull?
BY MR. BURNS:
Q. At any time did you see the pedals -- me
pedaling the bicycle when I proceeded from the
A. At that point I wasn't looking at your
pedals. I was watching you making the turn.
MR. BURNS: That's the only question.
pg. 15 line 1 MR. BURNS: The only thing that I have issue
with is the fact that while the officer is able to
remember the exact speed that I was attaining, how he
got my attainment, where he was sitting on Van Dyke,
in what parking lot, what cross-sections it was, and
the law that he's enforcing pertaining to this
bicycle, he was not able to remember whether or not I
pedaled the bike when I started out from the
stoplight to turn left onto Eldorado from Van Dyke.
This bicycle in question will not move from
a stop unless it is pedaled. The engine will die and
it will not move. The speed that the bicycle can
attain is not in question when pedaling is used.
It's only in question from a stop with a motor and solely a motor as the law sites, solely powered by a
pg. 16 line 12 MS. WAKS: Just real quickly. I think
Officer Hull's testimony has been mis- -- it's been
described, I think, inaccurately. He didn't say he
couldn't remember whether or not Mr. Burns was
pedaling or not when he left the -- from the
stoplight turning onto Eldorado. He said he wasn't
looking at the pedals. So it wasn't a question of
whether or not he can remember that specific
situation. He does remember. He didn't pay
attention to that issue. He said he wasn't looking
at his feet. He wasn't looking at the pedals. I
think Mr. Burns wants to play a little bit with words
and what he believes the statute means. But it's clear that this vehicle was obtaining a speed of 35
miles an hour as Officer Hull has testified. And
it's clearly a motor vehicle in this situation.