Mayor Menino Announces Crackdown on Motorized Dirt Bikes and other Nuisance Vehicles in Boston
To File Homerule Petition to Ban use on City Property and Public Ways and Launches “Operation Kick Stand”
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For Immediate Release
June 28, 2011
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Press.Office@cityofboston.gov

Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced a crackdown on illegal motorized bikes in the City of Boston and a new homerule petition that will allow for better enforcement of these nuisance vehicles.  He also directed the Boston Police Department and the city’s Transportation Department to initiate “Operation Kickstand,” an effort to tow all illegal motorized bicycles, specifically those that are:   

  1. Missing a registration decal or not properly registered
  2. Being operated on parkland, off-street recreational paths or any other prohibited paths
  3. Being operated in an illegal fashion (e.g., reckless driving, driving under the influence)

While illegal motorbikes did not appear to be used in the recent shooting at Harambee Playground, the information gathered does highlight the need for a stronger city policy on the use and operation of motorized bicycles within city limits.  These new regulations and increased enforcement are just a part of the city’s overall efforts to create strong vibrant neighborhoods where all residents can live, work and raise their families.

“I will continue to fight for the protection and quality of life of our residents,” Mayor Menino said. “These types of loud, dangerous vehicles are allowing individuals to intimidate our residents and cause disruption in our neighborhoods – and it must stop.”

According to the Mass. RMV, any pedal bicycle which has a helper motor or a non-pedal bicycle with a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters of cylinder capacity, has an automatic transmission and cannot go faster than 30 miles an hour meets the legal definition of a motorized bicycle.

Existing laws (specifically M.G.L. c. 90 §1B-E) which regulate motorized bicycles mandate that the vehicle / its operator must:

  • Have a registration sticker affixed to it
  • Be registered with the MA RMV (motorized bicycles are classified as “motor vehicles”)
  • Carry a valid driver’s license / learner’s permit
  • Wear a safety helmet
  • Drive at speeds 25 mph or lower
  • Avoid driving on (a) roadways where bicycles are prohibited or (b) off-street recreational paths

Mayor Menino will file a home rule petition that will extend the law and ban these types of vehicles within the city limits.  Other cities currently have similar laws in place including New York, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia.

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