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WITH THE HOLIDAYS AROUND THE CORNER, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS PROVIDING INFORMATION, GUIDELINES, CODES AND STATE STATUTES ON POCKET BIKES AND MINIMOTORBIKES.
Pocket bikes are defined in the City Code to match the State definition of the term. Pocket bikes are prohibited by the City Code on streets, bicycle paths, and sidewalks. In addition, City Code Section 1.10.088 provides in pertinent part: "No pocket bike or minimotorbike may be operated upon any sidewalk, pedestrian walkway, playground, or other area of any property owned or maintained by the city as a park or greenspace, including any access drives and parking lots in or adjacent thereto."
These provisions are consistent with State law. Transportation Code subchapter E, which regulates the use of motor assisted scooters, provides in Section 551.353 that subchapter E may not be construed to authorize the operation of a pocket bike or minimotorbike on any street, road, path set aside for bicycles, or sidewalk.
Texas Transportation Code Section 551.351: Definition of Minimotorbike
"Pocket bike or minimotorbike" means a self-propelled vehicle that is equipped with an electric motor or internal combustion engine having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, is designed to propel itself with not more than two wheels in contact with the ground, has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator, is not designed for use on a highway, and is ineligible for a certificate of title under Chapter 501. The term does not include:
(A) a moped or motorcycle;
(B) an electric bicycle or motor-driven cycle, as defined by Section 541.201;
(C) a motorized mobility device, as defined by Section 542.009;
(D) an electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined by Section 551.201; or
(E) a neighborhood electric vehicle, as defined by Section 551.301.
Texas Transportation Code Section 551.352: Operation on Roadways or Sidewalks
Sec. 551.352. OPERATION ON ROADWAYS OR SIDEWALKS. (a) A motor-assisted scooter may be operated only on a street or highway for which the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. The motor-assisted scooter may cross a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
(b) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a street, highway, or sidewalk if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(c) The department may prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a highway if it determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(d) A person may operate a motor-assisted scooter on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles or on a sidewalk. Except as otherwise provided by this section, a provision of this title applicable to the operation of a bicycle applies to the operation of a motor-assisted scooter.
(e) A provision of this title applicable to a motor vehicle does not apply to a motor-assisted scooter.
Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1242 (H.B. 1596), Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 2005.
Texas Transportation Code Section 551.353: Application of Subchapter to Pocket Bike or Minimotorbike
Sec. 551.353. APPLICATION OF SUBCHAPTER TO POCKET BIKE OR MINIMOTORBIKE. This subchapter may not be construed to authorize the operation of a pocket bike or minimotorbike on any:
(1) highway, road, or street;
(2) path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles; or
Transferred and redesignated from Transportation Code, Section 551.304 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (S.B. 1303), Sec. 27.001(64), eff. September 1, 2011.
City Ordinance Section 1.10.088:
Sec. 1.10.088 Vehicles restricted to designated areas
No person may operate a vehicle on or through any city park property except on roads, driveways, parking areas and other areas designated for vehicles; however, city personnel and agents may operate service vehicles in other areas while engaged in authorized activities. No pocket bike or minimotorbike may be operated upon any sidewalk, pedestrian walkway, playground, or other area of any property owned or maintained by the city as a park or greenspace, including any access drives and parking lots in or adjacent thereto. (Ordinance 2017-05-17(B), sec. 3, adopted 5/17/17)
City Ordinance Section 12.06.005:
Sec. 12.06.005 Restriction on operation of pocket bikes or minimotorbikes
It shall be unlawful for a person to operate a pocketbike or minimotorbike on or in:
(1) A highway, road, or street;
(2) A path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles;
(3) A sidewalk; or
(4) Any location where operation is prohibited by the terms of section 1.10.088 of this code.
(Ordinance 2017-05-17(B), sec. 6, adopted 5/17/17)