Jefferson City clarifies regulations on motorized vehicles

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JEFFERSON CITY - City leaders voted to amend an ordinance clarifying what qualifies as a motorized bicycle and where people can ride them. 

The City Council passed the amendment Monday defining a motorized bicycle as any vehicle having the following:

  • Two or three wheels
  • Automatic transmission
  • Motor not larger than 50 cubic centimeters
  • Less than three gross brake horsepower
  • Maximum speed no faster than 30 mph.

Previously, a vehicle had to have "fully operative pedals capable of propulsion by human power" to qualify as a motorized bicycle, according to the ordinance. 

The amendment will allow motorized scooters, including SPIN rental scooters, to qualify as motorized bicycles. 

All vehicles qualifying as motorized bicycles under the ordinance will be subject to the same restrictions on where riders can use them. 

Per state law, riders must have a valid driver's license to ride them on city streets. However, they can use them on the city's Greenway system without a license.

They cannot be used on city sidewalks. 

"A lot of our sidewalks are more narrow," Mayor Carrie Tergin said. "There can be concern about utilizing those higher speed type electric bicycles on a city sidewalk."

She said the amendment will make it easier to use an electric bicycle in the city. 

"This is no more restrictive than it was before," Tergin said. "In fact it now allows them in places it previously did not." 

She said the previous ordinance did not allow electric bicycles on city streets or sidewalks.