ASSEMBLY, No. 5585

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 8, 2023

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† JOHN CATALANO

District 10 (Ocean)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Rooney

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Directs MVC to establish public information campaign concerning certain motorized vehicles; establishes 15-mile-per-hour speed limit for certain motorized vehicles.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning certain motorized vehicles, supplementing Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.1975, c.250 and P.L.2019, c.121.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.† (New section) The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall develop and implement a public information campaign concerning low-speed electric bicycles, low-speed electric scooters, motorized bicycles, and motorized scooters.† The public information campaign shall alert the public to the authorized operation of these vehicles and the dangers to pedestrians and other vehicles interacting with these vehicles, and shall notify any person operating one of these vehicles of the personís responsibility concerning the safety of others.

 

†††† 2.† Section 2 of P.L.1975, c.250 (C.39:4-14.3) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2. a. Motorized bicycles shall not be operated upon interstate highways or upon public highways divided by a grass or concrete median or highways with posted speed limits in excess of 50 miles per hour or upon the railroad or right-of-way of an operating railroad within the State of New Jersey, or upon any public land where expressly prohibited by the governing body, department or agency having jurisdiction thereof.

†††† The commissioner is authorized to adopt regulations either prohibiting the operation of motorized bicycles on any public road or highway with a speed limit in excess of 40 miles per hour, which in his discretion are hazardous for the operation of motorized bicycles or permitting the operation of motorized bicycles on any public road or highway, upon which the operation of motorized bicycles is otherwise prohibited by the provisions of this section, which in his discretion are safe for the operation of motorized bicycles.† In no case, however, shall the commissioner adopt a regulation permitting motorized bicycles to be operated on any highway with a posted speed in excess of 50 miles per hour.

†††† A person shall not operate a motorized bicycle at a speed greater than 15 miles per hour on any highway, roadway, or street in the State.

†††† b.††† No municipality shall limit or otherwise restrict the operation of motorized bicycles on any public roads or highways under its jurisdiction in contravention of the provisions of [this act] P.L.1975, c.250 or any regulations adopted by the director pursuant thereto.

†††† c.†††† Motorized bicycles shall not be operated by a person under 15 years of age.

†††† d.††† No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless he is in possession of a valid driver's license of any class or a motorized bicycle license, which shall be issued by the commission to any person 15 years of age or older, upon proof of identity and date of birth, and after he has passed a satisfactory examination as to his ability as an operator.† Such examination shall include a test of the applicant's knowledge of such portions of the mechanism of motorized bicycles as is necessary to insure their safe operation and of the laws and ordinary usages of the road and a demonstration of his ability to operate a motorized bicycle.

†††† The demonstration of an applicant's ability to operate a motorized bicycle shall be administered at such municipalities that the commission shall designate, under the supervision of the commission, or an officer, employee, or authorized agent of the commission, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commission.

†††† The administrator may, in his discretion, issue a learner's permit to a person 15 years of age or older, upon proof of identity and date of birth, allowing such person, for the purpose of fitting himself to become a motorized bicycle driver, to operate a motorized bicycle during daylight hours without supervision for a period not to exceed 45 days.† The permit shall be sufficient license for the person to operate a motorized bicycle.† No permit shall be issued unless the person applying therefor shall pay the sum of $5.00 to the commission, or an officer, employee or agent of the commission.

†††† e.†††† The valid driver's license, the insurance identification card, and the registration certificate shall be in the possession of the operator at all times when he is operating a motorized bicycle with motor engaged on the highways of this State.† The operator shall exhibit his driver's license when requested to do so by any police officer or magistrate, while in the performance of the duties of his office and shall write his name in the presence of the officer, so that the officer may thereby determine the identity of the licensee and at the same time determine the correctness of the registration certificate, as it relates to the registration number and number plates of the motorized bicycle for which it was issued and the correctness of the evidence of a policy of insurance, as it relates to the coverage of the motorized bicycle for which it was issued. Any person violating this subsection shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $50.00.

†††† If a person charged with a violation of this subsection can exhibit his valid driver's license, insurance identification card, and registration certificate, which were valid on the day he was charged, to the judge of the municipal court before whom he is summoned to answer to the charge, the judge may dismiss the charge; however, the judge may impose court costs.

†††† f.†††† Unless otherwise determined by the commissioner, statutes, rules and regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a motorized bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any public land.

†††† Every person operating a motorized bicycle upon a public road or highway shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by chapter 4 of Title 39 and N.J.S.2C:11-5 and all amendments and supplements thereto.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.13, s.49)

 

†††† 3.† Section 2 of P.L.2019, c.121 (C.39:4-14.16) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2. a.† A low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter, as defined in R.S.39:1-1, may be operated on the streets, highways, roadways, and bicycle paths of this State, except as otherwise provided in this section, [and] provided that the low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter is not operated at a speed greater than 15 miles per hour. The low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter may be parked on a sidewalk provided that the low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter does not impede the normal movement of pedestrian or other traffic upon the sidewalk.

†††† b.††† On and after January 1, 2019, manufacturers and distributors of low-speed electric bicycles shall apply a label that is permanently affixed, in a prominent location, to each low-speed electric bicycle. The label shall contain the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage of the low-speed electric bicycle, and shall be printed in Arial font in at least 9-point type.

†††† c. †† A person shall not tamper with or modify a low-speed electric bicycle so as to change the motor-powered speed capability or engagement of a low-speed electric bicycle, unless that person appropriately replaces the label indicating the classification required in subsection b. of this section.

†††† d.††† A low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter may be operated on bicycle paths, except that a local government entity or State agency may prohibit the operation of low-speed electric bicycles or low-speed electric scooters on bicycle paths under its jurisdiction.

†††† e.†††† Unless permitted by a local government entity or State agency with jurisdiction, a low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter shall not be operated on a trail designated for non-motorized traffic if such trail has a natural surface tread made by clearing and grading the soil and no surfacing materials have been added.

†††† f.†††† The operator of a low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter shall not be required to register the low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter, furnish proof of insurance, or have a driver's license.

†††† g.††† Except as otherwise provided by this section, all statutes, including the provisions of chapter 4 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, rules, and regulations applicable to bicycles, as defined in section 1 of P.L.1991, c.465 (C.39:4-10.1), shall apply to low-speed electric bicycles and low-speed electric scooters, except those provisions which by their very nature may have no application to low-speed electric bicycles or low-speed electric scooters.

†††† h.††† A low-speed electric bicycle or low-speed electric scooter shall be considered a motor vehicle to the extent required by


23 U.S.C. s.154.

(cf: P.L.2019, c.121, s.2)

 

†††† 4.† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to develop and implement a public information campaign concerning the operation of, and dangers to pedestrians and other vehicles interacting with, low-speed electric bicycles, low-speed motorized scooters, motorized bicycles, and motorized scooters.† The campaign would also notify persons operating these vehicles of their responsibilities concerning the safety of others.

†††† The bill also establishes a speed limit of 15 miles per hour for the operation of motorized bicycles, low-speed electric bicycles, and low-speed electric scooters on the highways, roadways, and streets in the State.†