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The Street Legal Question

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Street Legal Question

Ted Belfour
April 4, 2006

One of the most common questions to pop up from people looking to purchase a pocket bike for the first time is whether or not they are street legal. The general answer is no, and pocket bike racers point out that pocket bikes were never designed for street use, they were designed for track racing. Because of the diminutive size of pocket bikes, they are dangerous to use on public roads because many drivers can not see the bikes. Yet, because of the speed they can reach, too many people either assume they are legal to use on public streets, or just ignore the rules.

Pocket bikes are legal to own and race, but they are designed for private property or race tracks. Some states have gone to extreme measures to reinforce this point. Pocket bikes became major political issues in both Utah and Pennsylvania after individuals were badly hurt after an accident on a public street. Both states passed laws specifically banning those vehicles from public streets. Sections of California have taken the same steps.

Part of this response is due to the large increase in pocket bike sales. There are so many more pocket bikes around then even a few years back. Unfortunately, with the increase in pocket bikes, there is also a rise in the improper use of pocket bikes. These were designed for private property, and for racing, and are perfectly acceptable for both, but public streets were meant for basic transportation.

So the long and short of the street legal question is that pocket bikes are not street legal. Even in states where the rules are not specifically stated, pocket bikes are still technically not street legal because they are not designed for license plates, turn signals, and lights. Even if your state has not specifically passed laws banning their use on public streets, it is still a good idea to use the pocket bikes properly. Because of their small size and large speed, the pocket bikes can lead to bad accidents if used improperly, or even if there are used properly, accidents happen and it’s better to be with the ground than with a car. Play it safe, and pocket bikes can be a fun, accident-free fun. Dave is the owner of http://super-pocket-bike-sale.info a website that provides information on pocket bike racing



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