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-   -   Legal Question on trikes et.al. (http://www.bikeforums.net/recumbent/932458-legal-question-trikes-et-al.html)

tcs 02-11-14 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 16485149)
A motorized trike is a wheelchair?

Of course not.

bhtooefr 02-11-14 12:51 PM

Most jurisdictions define a bicycle as a human powered vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels.

However, there are sometimes some loopholes. Sometimes there's a wheel size requirement - usually larger than 16" - to qualify as a vehicle (so that children can ride their bicycle on a sidewalk, but hey, Greenspeed does 16" all around trikes).

That said, it's certainly not a good idea to ride a trike on the sidewalk if bicycles can't safely ride there as well.

009jim 02-16-14 02:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaPa (Post 16482678)
For about $10 at your local secondhand, few would question the 'legalities'....

http://i59.tinypic.com/23mkayb.jpg

It's even more convincing when you have electric assist:D

That is exactly what I can see myself on! What an awesome rig.

009jim 02-16-14 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bhtooefr (Post 16486961)
Most jurisdictions define a bicycle as a human powered vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels.

However, there are sometimes some loopholes. Sometimes there's a wheel size requirement - usually larger than 16" - to qualify as a vehicle (so that children can ride their bicycle on a sidewalk, but hey, Greenspeed does 16" all around trikes).

That said, it's certainly not a good idea to ride a trike on the sidewalk if bicycles can't safely ride there as well.

Can you please state your reasoning to support this? If a wheelchair is OK, why then is a trike not OK?

PaPa 02-16-14 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 16485149)
A motorized trike is a wheelchair? :twitchy:

Depends on the State's definition(s), and how it's applied (speed being the main criteria) For example...

Idaho Statutes 49-114 (15) "Motorized wheelchair" means a motor vehicle with a speed not in excess of eight (8) miles per hour, designed for and used by a person with a disability.

I built this for my father in Idaho 5 years ago - he's never been challenged or accosted anywhere, whether on sidewalks or inside businesses.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2emoadc.jpg

cplager 02-16-14 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 16499807)
Can you please state your reasoning to support this? If a wheelchair is OK, why then is a trike not OK?

These devices are designed with different uses in mind. I can see somebody using a trike as one would use a wheelchair, but that would be the exception. Different states and municipalities have different rules and regulations and see no reason to expect that all should treat a trike like a wheel chair.

JanMM 02-16-14 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaPa (Post 16501263)
Depends on the State's definition(s), and how it's applied (speed being the main criteria) For example...

Idaho Statutes 49-114 (15) "Motorized wheelchair" means a motor vehicle with a speed not in excess of eight (8) miles per hour, designed for and used by a person with a disability.

I built this for my father in Idaho 5 years ago - he's never been challenged or accosted anywhere, whether on sidewalks or inside businesses.

Unlike the previous trike you posted, (which appears not to have been designed for a person with disabilities), this is not pedal driven ---> Neither a (pedal powered) bike nor trike. And not a wheelchair, even tho it may sorta meet local definition of motorized wheelchair. Glad your father hasn't been accosted.

PaPa 02-16-14 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 16501577)
Unlike the previous trike you posted, (which appears not to have been designed for a person with disabilities), this is not pedal driven ---> Neither a (pedal powered) bike nor trike. And not a wheelchair, even tho it may sorta meet local definition of motorized wheelchair. Glad your father hasn't been accosted.

The absents or presents of pedals, nor your restricted, visual interpretation of a 'wheel chair', automatically excludes it from the State's definition of "wheel chair" (which I previously quoted). If the rider is legally disabled, and rides it 8 mph or less, then it clearly abides by the State law.

JanMM 02-17-14 12:18 PM

My restricted mind can see that this thread, which started out in an ill-defined area, is getting farther and farther away from bicycling.........................

bhtooefr 02-18-14 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 16499807)
Can you please state your reasoning to support this? If a wheelchair is OK, why then is a trike not OK?

Higher speed capability (although you don't actually have to use it)
Width (IIRC trikes are usually a bit wider than the average wheelchair)
Length (trikes are much longer)
Manueverability (this ties into the length, but also how a wheelchair's propulsion and steering work - a wheelchair can manuever in much tighter spaces than any recumbent trike can)
Crash safety for pedestrians (this is mainly a problem with tadpoles, not deltas, but with a tadpole, it's a good way for pedestrians to get a leg full of chainring)

Retro Grouch 02-23-14 06:35 AM

A fairly busy road near my condo has, what look to me, like identical sidewalks on each side. Legally I read some place that one is a sidewalk, the other a trail. I assume that means I'm supposed to only ride my bike (or trike) on the trail but I don't know which one that is.

In actual practice, nobody cares because there are few pedestrians using either one. When I ride my bike up to the convenience store on the corner, my normal practice is to ride on the sidewalk (or trail) going up to the store and ride in the street coming home. That way I don't have to cross the road like I would if I were to ride in the street going both ways.

BlazingPedals 02-23-14 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaPa (Post 16501826)
The absents or presents of pedals, nor your restricted, visual interpretation of a 'wheel chair', automatically excludes it from the State's definition of "wheel chair" (which I previously quoted). If the rider is legally disabled, and rides it 8 mph or less, then it clearly abides by the State law.

Arguing here is pointless. The true test will be if you take it into a department store or a grocery store, and you brush your chain up against another customer's clothing.

Retro Grouch 02-23-14 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals (Post 16519780)
Arguing here is pointless. The true test will be if you take it into a department store or a grocery store, and you brush your chain up against another customer's clothing.

That's what I think too. I'd be careful about riding a trike with the chainring sticking out front if you live in a "Stand your ground state."

PaPa 02-24-14 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals (Post 16519780)
The true test will be if you take it into a department store or a grocery store, and you brush your chain up against another customer's clothing.

An issue you 'tadpole' owners need to consider... not me.. and my 'safely-tucked-away' chainrings on my delta's.:D:

Tom Stormcrowe 02-25-14 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 16460743)
Riding home from work Friday I found myself pondering the definition of a wheel-chair vs the definition of a recumbent three-wheeler. As I'm getting on a bit and thinking about transportation in my later years, I wondered if a recumbent bike would/could be classed as a wheel-chair and therefore you are allowed to ride it on the sidewalk and inside the galleria for example.

As I see it this would have many advantages. Whilst I might be able to walk ok in my 60s or 70s, I might not be able to walk the huge distances one has to cover just gaining entry to the mall and getting to the appropriate shops. A wheel-chair could likewise be prohibitive as the arms would be too weary. However, the recumbent 3 wheel bike sounds perfect.

Anyone got idea on the legalities?


A doctors statement that it is assistive technology compensating for a reduced ability to walk would make it compliant under the ADA. You would likely have to put something on it identifying it as assistive, though, for the "unwashed".

tcs 02-26-14 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe (Post 16525635)
A doctors statement that it is assistive technology compensating for a reduced ability to walk would make it compliant under the ADA.

I linked the ADA definition of 'wheelchair' in post 22. A recumbent trike arguably fails the definition because it may or may not be 'manually powered', depending on the legal definition of 'manual' ('muscle' or 'by hand'). A recumbent trike would definitely fail ADA's definition of wheelchair because it is not 'designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability'.

Again, the issue wouldn't be the man hassling you. It would be rolling down the concourse on your recumbent trike and hitting a five year old, knocking her to the ground and breaking her arm. Hope you've got a good umbrella policy!


PS - And once again, the ADA does not apply to the OP in Australia.

009jim 03-08-14 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 16503006)
My restricted mind can see that this thread, which started out in an ill-defined area, is getting farther and farther away from bicycling.........................

I think this is my fault in part. I am the O.P. but I've now come to the realisation that a trike is not necessarily a recumbent. Recumbents tend to be quite a long structure. They have to be, because you are "recumbent". A lot of the replies have come from folks who don't like the idea of such a long piece of kit being in the galleria obstructing things. However, a trike can be quite short. In actual fact a trike can be shorter than a normal bicycle, because the cranks can be between the back wheels. A trike might be longer than a basic wheel-chair, but will not be longer than the new electric wheel-chairs with baskets and so forth on them.

Undoubtedly the laws in various places can be so nebulous that police or business owners can object on some grounds. That's why laws to protect people in wheel-chairs were necessary.

I saw the same chap referred to in my O.P. on friday evening. This time he was a lot further from the mall and obviously making his way home. He has a granny gear on his trike and potters along obviously enjoying himself. He looked healthy too. Just after that I saw a lady on a motorised scooter and she did not look happy or healthy.

009jim 03-08-14 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Retro Grouch (Post 16519980)
That's what I think too. I'd be careful about riding a trike with the chainring sticking out front if you live in a "Stand your ground state."

LOL........I can just imagine the news headlines!!

-=(8)=- 03-08-14 09:09 PM

When I lived in the Stand your Ground state, there were these gorgeous, w - i - d - e mup type sidewalks that went on for miles because no one walks in FL.
There are parts that would be a trike riders dream.

morganw 04-23-14 06:22 PM

In the ADA definition, "manually" doesn't refer to hands/arms, but is used in contrast with powered.

A mobility disability doesn't mean the legs can't move. A balance problem (e.g. Sheldon Brown w/ multiple sclerosis) can prevent walking while still allowing a person to pedal a trike.

Some tadpole trike manufacturers (e.g. ICE) make chain ring guards.

rydabent 04-25-14 07:42 AM

pa pa

Great point. What cop wants to be seen in public giving a "handicapped" person grief?? Especially one with a crutch on his "wheelchair".

Another question comes to mind. Is there any specific law that states what the spec of a wheelchair is?

If ticketed, I still think my idea of showing up in court with a walker is a great idea!!! Just tell the judge you have a balance problem, and the trike is much faster than your walker.

DanWho 06-08-14 04:07 AM

Just remember that you may have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

rydabent 06-08-14 07:36 AM

These days it is truth as you see it.

Besides in a public area, what is the difference between a wheel chair, and a trike ridden around slowly?


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