Everybody likes to ride a bike in the warm weather.  And some even go the next step and trick out that bike so it becomes a gas-powered bicycle.  These retro-fitted bikes may be a quick and easy way to get from here to there (hey, look, no peddling needed!), but they are also mileage in most cases.

The Sidney Police Department has observed a substantial increase of home-made gas-powered motorized bicycles being operated illegally on public streets. The police are warning those who own such bicycles or those considering getting one that they are illegal to operate on public streets. The goal of their public announcement is to increase public safety by educating and taking enforcement action when needed.

Did you know that a gas-powered bicycle that has been retro-fitted for use then becomes considered a "motor vehicle" by legal definition?  Therefore the owner/operator must obey all motor vehicle laws and rules of the road, and must possess a valid driver's license and the vehicle (the gas-powered bike) must be registered with the Motor Vehicle Department and must be insured under all New York State insurance regulations.  They normally would be considered the same as a motorcycle, moped or other similar vehicle.  However, retro-fitted gas powered bicycles do not meet these standards and cannot be registered with DMV, making them illegal to operate on public highways.

We urge all who are considering turning a bike into a gas-powered vehicle to familiarize themselves with the rules pertaining to this in New York State.

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