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RE: [MPD-5D] mini motorcycles/mini scooters

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  • Stacey Patmore
    I called 311 and was told that it is illegal for them to be driven on the sidewalk and that they would send someone. The kid had the nerve to honk at me and
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 7 6:40 PM
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      I called 311 and was told that it is illegal for them to be driven on the sidewalk and that they would send someone.  The kid had the nerve to honk at me and my dogs as we walked toward him on the sidewalk.
       
      Stacey on Hamlin
      -----Original Message-----
      From: k_fw [mailto:k_fw@...]
      Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 8:36 PM
      To: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [MPD-5D] mini motorcycles/mini scooters


      I would like the police department's official stance on mini-motorcycles and
      their use in the District.

      Are they considered legal or illegal?

      I've done some research at the DMV and from what I gather, all motor
      vehicles must be registered, insured, and tagged to be street worthy in DC
      regardless of the number of CCs they use.  Not so in Maryland or Virgina, but
      definitely true in the District.

      On several occasions I have called 311 to be told by operators that there is
      no law against them or that the scooters need to be over 50 CCs before they
      are considered illegal.  Once I was told that they only violate sound
      ordinances.

      Please straighten this out for me.  I'd hate to waste any officer's time with a
      petty complaint if the users are in compliance, but I also don't want
      dangerous motor vehicles driven on the sidewalk in front of my house.

      Thank you for responding.




    • helburnclu@aol.com
      This would be helpful information. There are a small handful of young men in Truxton Circle who seem to take great delight in circling around and around the
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 8 9:08 AM
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        This would be helpful information. There are a small handful of young men in Truxton Circle who seem to take great delight in circling around and around the neighborhood, weaving between the street and sidewalk on these things, creating a pedestrian and traffic hazard. I've tried calling 311 too, but understandably this kind of call gets a low priority for dispatching officers. So when a police car has responded it's usually 20-30 minutes later, and by then the person is gone. They seem to know how much time they can get away with before an officer arrives.

        I wonder, if these things do violate a sound ordinance, would that make it easier for officers to do something? (Because their hands wouldn't be tied if they didn't actually witness the guy riding the bike on the sidewalk?)
        --Jennifer
      • Craig, Donald (MPD)
        The department s chase policy is very strict. We can only chase a motor vehicle only if we have reason to believe the driver or one of the occupants has
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 8 9:30 AM
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          The department's chase policy is very strict. We can only chase a motor vehicle only if we have reason to believe the driver or one of the occupants has committed an extremely dangerous felony like a homicide or a shooting or stabbing. The policy also states that even in these instances, chases are only authorized if the conditions are safe. So in this case, since the violations are for traffic only, the department's chase policy will not allow us to chase these guys if they don't want to stop. All we can do is give a description of the subject and the motor bike and hopefully they park it somewhere where we can find it. Also there' s a safety factor involved. There could be injury to the person on the bike as well as any pedestrians that might get in his or her way while they are fleeing. If we do chase them for any length of time then an investigation is done and if the officers are in violation of the policy, then the officers will be disciplined.

          Lt. Craig


          ________________________________

          From: helburnclu@... [mailto:helburnclu@...]
          Sent: Tue 3/8/2005 12:08 PM
          To: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [MPD-5D] mini motorcycles/mini scooters




          This would be helpful information. There are a small handful of young men in Truxton Circle who seem to take great delight in circling around and around the neighborhood, weaving between the street and sidewalk on these things, creating a pedestrian and traffic hazard. I've tried calling 311 too, but understandably this kind of call gets a low priority for dispatching officers. So when a police car has responded it's usually 20-30 minutes later, and by then the person is gone. They seem to know how much time they can get away with before an officer arrives.

          I wonder, if these things do violate a sound ordinance, would that make it easier for officers to do something? (Because their hands wouldn't be tied if they didn't actually witness the guy riding the bike on the sidewalk?)
          --Jennifer




          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • Sonya Harway
          I can certainly understand not wanting (or being permitted) to chase someone just for riding on the sidewalk and causing minor trouble for pedestrians, but I
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 8 10:39 AM
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            I can certainly understand not wanting (or being permitted) to chase
            someone just for riding on the sidewalk and causing minor trouble
            for pedestrians, but I am very concerned when I see them riding
            around with young neighborhood kids on the bikes-- they go MUCH too
            quickly for that to be safe (and I'm sure I don't have to mention
            thar they don't wear helmets nor provide them for the children). I
            have alerted 311 sometimes when I see the problem-bikers in our
            neighborhood hanging around outside the apt. buildings at the 2500
            block of 10th St., but it still doesn't seem to help, as I heard
            them out again yesterday evening speeding through the alley.

            --- In MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com, "Craig, Donald \(MPD\)"
            <Donald.Craig@d...> wrote:
            > The department's chase policy is very strict. We can only chase a
            motor vehicle only if we have reason to believe the driver or one of
            the occupants has committed an extremely dangerous felony like a
            homicide or a shooting or stabbing. The policy also states that
            even in these instances, chases are only authorized if the
            conditions are safe. So in this case, since the violations are for
            traffic only, the department's chase policy will not allow us to
            chase these guys if they don't want to stop. All we can do is give
            a description of the subject and the motor bike and hopefully they
            park it somewhere where we can find it. Also there' s a safety
            factor involved. There could be injury to the person on the bike as
            well as any pedestrians that might get in his or her way while they
            are fleeing. If we do chase them for any length of time then an
            investigation is done and if the officers are in violation of the
            policy, then the officers will be disciplined.
            >
            > Lt. Craig
            >
            >
            > ________________________________
            >
            > From: helburnclu@a... [mailto:helburnclu@a...]
            > Sent: Tue 3/8/2005 12:08 PM
            > To: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [MPD-5D] mini motorcycles/mini scooters
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > This would be helpful information. There are a small handful of
            young men in Truxton Circle who seem to take great delight in
            circling around and around the neighborhood, weaving between the
            street and sidewalk on these things, creating a pedestrian and
            traffic hazard. I've tried calling 311 too, but understandably this
            kind of call gets a low priority for dispatching officers. So when a
            police car has responded it's usually 20-30 minutes later, and by
            then the person is gone. They seem to know how much time they can
            get away with before an officer arrives.
            >
            > I wonder, if these things do violate a sound ordinance, would that
            make it easier for officers to do something? (Because their hands
            wouldn't be tied if they didn't actually witness the guy riding the
            bike on the sidewalk?)
            > --Jennifer
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
          • k_fw
            Lt. Craig, Thanks for responding. I understand there us a no-chase law, but the law does make law enforcement seem ridiculous when mini-motorcyclists drive
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 8 12:12 PM
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              Lt. Craig,

              Thanks for responding. I understand there us a no-chase law, but the
              law does make law enforcement seem ridiculous when mini-motorcyclists
              drive around and follow a police car!

              That was the scene I witnessed last night after an officer responded
              to my 311 call. The officer simply drove away and parked down the
              street.

              I would like you to elaborate, however, on the legality of the mini-
              motorcycles. Are the drivers violating a law? Do these 49cc mini-
              bikes need to be registered, insured, and tagged in the District of
              Columbia? If an officer successfully pulls one of the drivers over,
              can his bike be impounded?

              Unfortunately, we heard from the mini-motorcycle drivers last night
              that the policeman told them they didn't need to get the vehicles
              tagged. Is that indeed the law?

              Thank you.
            • Darth kir
              A 49 cc mini motor cycles is well below the need to register. I m not positive however I think the limit is 100cc before it must be registered. My personal
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 8 1:42 PM
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                A 49 cc mini motor cycles is well below the need to
                register. I'm not positive however I think the limit
                is 100cc before it must be registered.

                My personal feelings are to let the kids have fun and
                if they are teens let the teens have fun with the
                things. It will be a popular toy for one, two, maybe
                even three seasons then something else will be
                popular. They will ride them and ride them and soon
                they will be inoperable. I use to hear the same type
                of complaints about big wheels (they make too much
                noise, kids are racing up and down the sidewalk) let
                they kids have fun.

                Next time try asking them if it's fun to ride or
                something like that. They will probable respect your
                right of way on the sidewalk next time. Thats the
                nature of a kid.




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              • k_fw
                Hi Darth, That is an interesting analogy between the Big Wheels and mini-motorcycles. Although the differences between riding toys on the sidewalk are
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 8 5:30 PM
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                  Hi Darth,

                  That is an interesting analogy between the Big Wheels and mini-motorcycles.

                  Although the differences between riding "toys" on the sidewalk are slight, they
                  are still important.

                  A Big Wheel is often operated by 5- to 10-year-old children who can obtain a
                  maximum speed of approximately 10 mph, if the child is very athletic and
                  hopped up on Hi-C.

                  A mini-motorcycle, on the other hand, is frequently operated by a 20- to 30-
                  year-old man who can obtain a maximum speed (given the size of the engine)
                  of 45 mph. Though I will admit, this maximum speed is rarely achieved while
                  the operator cradles his cargo from the liquor store.

                  These differences don't always hold true, just what I witness on pleasant days
                  on the sidewalk in front of my house.

                  k
                • scott_pointer
                  And the irony is that they will break into our homes to steal the money to buy these things to drive us crazy! Pocket bikes drive new debate and laws By
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 16 5:18 AM
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                    And the irony is that they will break into our homes to steal the
                    money to buy these things to drive us crazy!


                    'Pocket bikes' drive new debate and laws
                    By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY
                    Tiny motorcycles have become a rage among teens - and also a source
                    of rage for communities across the USA that are banning or
                    restricting their use.
                    "Pocket bikes," or "mini motos," usually 15-18 inches high and
                    capable of going 35 mph, have joined motorized skateboards and
                    scooters on the danger list in many states, towns and cities that
                    consider them a speedy nuisance.
                    In recent weeks:
                    • Arlington Heights, Ill., gave preliminary approval to an ordinance
                    that would ban motorized scooters and skateboards. Police in the
                    village of 77,000 northwest of Chicago got 56 complaints about them
                    last year, up from 16 in 2002, says Chief Gerald Mourning. "It's
                    also a safety issue," he says.
                    • The New Hampshire Department of Safety has asked the state
                    Legislature to ban motorized scooters and pocket bikes on streets.
                    • La Porte, Texas, restricted the use of motorized scooters to
                    daylight hours and to streets with posted speed limits under 30 mph
                    after two boys lost control of their scooter and were struck and
                    injured by a car.
                    • Lenexa, Kan., stopped short of banning the devices outright.
                    Instead, the City Council voted to allow motorized skateboards on
                    sidewalks but banned them on streets. Pocket bikes and other
                    motorized vehicles are prohibited on all public property.
                    • Monroe, Wash., following the lead of some adjoining communities,
                    passed an ordinance restricting operation of motorized scooters to
                    those ages 16 and older. The scooters can be used only during
                    daylight hours, and riders must wear helmets.
                    • Several Arizona communities, including Tempe, Chandler and Mesa,
                    have considered banning motorized scooters. Both Phoenix and Tucson
                    outlawed them last year.
                    Emergency room doctors across the nation treated 10,015 injuries
                    connected to motorized gas- or battery-powered scooters from July 1,
                    2003, to June 30, 2004, says Patty Davis, spokeswoman for the
                    Consumer Product Safety Commission (news - web sites). The
                    commission is an independent federal agency charged with protecting
                    the public from risk of injury.
                    About one-third of those injured were younger than 15, Davis says.
                    And since October 1998, she says, 49 motorized-scooter riders have
                    died.
                    New Hampshire state Rep. John Flanders, a former sheriff's deputy
                    and sponsor of his state's proposal, says: "I had a near-collision
                    with one of those folks out on the main highway. The kids have no
                    fear. The people that are afraid are the people that are driving
                    cars. I wouldn't want that on my conscience, hitting a young fellow."
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