2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
October 1, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Vruwink, Tusler, Anderson and
Bowen, cosponsored by Senators Smith and Kooyenga. Referred to
Committee on Transportation.
1An Act to create
340.01 (30) (c) and 346.79 (6) of the statutes; relating to:
2operation of certain motor bicycles.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a new type of motor bicycle for purposes of the rules of the road.
Under current law, a motor bicycle is “a bicycle to which a power unit [that is]
not an integral part of the vehicle has been added to permit the vehicle to travel at
a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider on a dry, level,
hard surface with no wind and having a seat for the operator” or “a 2-wheeled or
3-wheeled vehicle that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power
and an electric motor of less than 750 watts and that is capable, when powered solely
by the motor, of a maximum speed of less than 20 miles per hour with a 170-pound
rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind.” In general, a motor bicycle is subject
to the same rules of the road as other bicycles and an operator of a motor bicycle is
subject to the same requirements and is afforded the same privileges as operators of
other bicycles. An operator of a motor bicycle, however, must possess a valid
This bill creates a third type of motor bicycle that is the same as the second type,
except that the motor may be more powerful — less than 2,000 watts instead of less
than 750 watts. However, the vehicle qualifies as a motor bicycle for purposes of the
rules of the road only when operated by a person with a disability that limits or
impairs the ability to walk. Under the bill, authorization to operate such a bicycle
must be demonstrated by affixing a special decal issued by the Department of
Transportation to the motor bicycle and by carrying a special card issued by DOT.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
340.01 (30) (c) of the statutes is created to read:
(c) A 2-wheeled or 3-wheeled vehicle that has fully operative 3
pedals for propulsion by human power and an electric motor of less than 2,000 watts, 4
that is capable, when powered solely by the motor, of a maximum speed of less than 5
20 miles per hour with a 170-pound rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind, 6
that has a special decal affixed as provided under s. 346.79 (6) (b), and that is 7
operated by an operator in possession of a special card provided under s. 346.79 (6) 8
346.79 (6) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) Any person who qualifies for registration plates of a special 11
design under s. 341.14 (1), (1a), (1m), or (1q) or any other person with a disability that 12
limits or impairs the ability to walk may apply to the department for authorization 13
to operate a motor bicycle as described under s. 340.01 (30) (c).
(b) Upon receipt of a completed application under par. (a), the department shall 15
provide a special decal to the applicant, with instructions for placement of the decal 16
on the motor bicycle, and issue a special card to the applicant identifying the 17
applicant as an authorized operator of a motor bicycle under s. 340.01 (30) (c).