The recent popularity of "pocket motorcycles" has seen an increase in the number of these vehicles in our city. With this in mind, the City of Keller Police Department would like to ensure that parents and operators are aware of the laws pertaining to these vehicles.
"We get complaints about them two or three times a day - mostly on the southern end of town. But by the time we send an officer out, they're gone," Chief Mark Hafner said.
Pocket motorcycles, also called mini-motorbikes, are classified as motor vehicles by the Texas Department of Transportation; therefore, they are subject to all laws established under the Transportation Code.
The Transportation Code requires all motor vehicles to pass a safety inspection and maintain a valid registration. The Texas Department of Transportation advises these vehicles cannot pass the safety inspection; therefore, they cannot be registered. Without proper inspection and registration these motor vehicles are prohibited from utilizing public roadways. The Texas Transportation Code prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle on sidewalks. Furthermore, the City of Keller prohibits the use of motor vehicles in all city parks, to include parking lots and schools.
There's also the question of civil liability. In Texas, if a 6-year-old is driving a pocket bike and gets into an accident on a public roadway, the child will be listed as the operator and the parents can be held liable for any damages.
The question remains, where can these vehicles be operated? Private property is currently the only location where these vehicles can be legally operated.
The City of Keller is dedicated to providing a safe environment for residents and visitors. We encourage operators and parents to be familiar with the safety guidelines of these vehicles and to utilize proper safety equipment.
Bike Riding Tips
- Wear a bike helmet at all times.
- Obey all traffic laws in the streets and on the trails.
- Move with the flow of traffic.
- Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
- Use bike reflectors and lights at night.
- Make sure the bike has regular preventive maintenance.
- Watch traffic on narrow roads.
- Use hand signals when turning and stopping.
- Keep right on street and trails.
- Schedule trips, if possible, during slower traffic hours, avoid rush hour traffic.
- Be courteous to pedestrians and other bikers.
Plan your route before you leave. In Keller, there are several off-road trails that connect major points of interests including schools, parks and shopping areas. Off-road trails such as the Big Bear Creek Greenbelt Trail provides the safest pedestrian and cyclists routes.