City ponders rules on mini, pocket bikes

The City of Olney may soon crack down on minibike and pocket bike riders due to unsafe and illegal behavior as well as noise complaints, Chief Dan Birbeck said.

Chief Birbeck told the City Council on May 13 that complaints have escalated as more bikes hit the road and officers ticket riders for failing to follow traffic laws.

He provided the Council with sample ordinances for curbing problems with underage drivers and scofflaws at the meeting.

Riders must have a driver’s license with a Class M endorsement to ride minibikes and pocketbikes on city streets, he said.

Riders also must abide by local traffic laws and have their vehicles equipped with reflectors and lights, and must signal at stops and turns, he said.

The vehicles are not permitted on state highways, and are limited to roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, he said.

“Anything [with a motor under] 50 ccs is not intended for public roads. They are considered offroad vehicles for fun and entertainment but not for primary transportation,” he said.

Riders should “ride on the appropriate side of the roadway and follow all transportation code rules” to avoid citations, he said.

The City Council will make the final decision about how to regulate the vehicles, he said.