Tickets when using bike rack

Alphbetadog

Active Member
I recently installed a platform rack on my car. Although the brake and turn signal lights can been seen through the bicycle spokes but not that great. Also, the vehicle's license plate is not visible directly behind. I'm concerned that I may get pulled over and cited by the police, however I see these kind of racks used all the time. Is it even an issue? Anyone been pulled over for this?
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have a Saris Freedom SuperClamp 4 Bike Rack and have the same concerns when I travel out of state with my two Radrover ebikes. Never an issue around town or even around my sate of NM because I see all kinds of bike racks and hitch cargo carriers (with in state and out of state plates) without clearly visible license plates.

My two 4" fat tire bikes both have Luna Cycle triangle bags covering the batteries mid frame. I also have a traveling bike cover if I run into bad weather out of town. Very hard to see my rear lights and license plate with and without the cover (no front plates for NM vehicles). Since both of my SUVs have a hitch+wiring harness; I ended up adding a magnetic mounted LED 4 way lights to the back of my Saris Rack. I also rigged up a License plate holder the tilts for when the Saris rack is in the up or down position.

I only use the license plate setup when heading out of town like when I took the ebikes to the Grand Canyon and Sedona for about a week. The Aux lights are used every time I connect my rack. The Magnetic Aux lights may not work if you have an aluminum rack.

Magnetic mount LED tail light, $80, Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GR7P55A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Alphbetadog

Active Member
Thanks for the feedback Mrgold35. I plan to use the same rack on my truck camper and will develop some sort of light bar similar to your magnetic trailer light set up. Maybe make some sort of light bar. Easy to do for my truck as I can plug it right into the trailer light receptacle. Not so much with this car as I really don't want to mess with the electrical.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
We use these racks for our entire team. Never had an issue to date but that does not mean we won't.
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
Who makes the platform rack pictured above?
Yep, it's a 1UP. I really like it, so easy to use and well-built. I specifically chose it because it is all metal and there are no plastic parts to break. It is also modular, so I can use just one rail making it slimmer and lighter if I'm just going out myself.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I tend to think in most places, cops wouldn't enforce this unless they use it as an excuse to stop you or unless they stop you for something else and they want to tack this on. For instance if they pull you over for speeding and your plate is also obstructed I bet they would add on an additional violation. I seem to recall a letter I received from a Michigan bike organization last year advising members that some cyclists were being pulled over because of their bike racks. With that said, I see folks all the time driving with their plates illegible due to dirt or snow etc. Now I think if your brake and tail lights are significantly obstructed then you are really likely to get pulled over. I recalled seeing this article so I looked it up - probably that case where police used the bike rack as a reason to justify a traffic stop (that they really made due to other suspicions):

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2016/03/tow_ball_bike_rack_if_it_block.html
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I've used hitch-hauls for at least 25 years and thousands of miles and have never been stopped once. Typically the lights arent blocked, but the license plate is always blocked.

Example:
Screen-Shot-2016-03-24-at-2.14.49-PM-180x180.png

I think if you make sure to get the lighting sorted out, there won't be a problem.
 

Shoestring

Active Member
There are some reports of cars with bike racks being stopped and ticketed in Delaware. Most of these have been out of state vehicles passing through on the way to Ocean City , Md. Some of our bike group members have been hit. Otherwise, I have been using this style of rack for years with no interference.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
There are some reports of cars with bike racks being stopped and ticketed in Delaware. Most of these have been out of state vehicles passing through on the way to Ocean City , Md. Some of our bike group members have been hit. Otherwise, I have been using this style of rack for years with no interference.
Sounds like local law enforcement are taking advantage of an easy revenue stream from out state travelers.:mad:
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Just harassment, like the broken tail light or if the cop doesn't like the way you look.

I ran without a front plate on one car for 25 years. Got yelled at by a passing state trooper once, but never got stopped. Did get a parking ticket for no plates in Chicago.
 

Al P

Active Member
Just harassment, like the broken tail light or if the cop doesn't like the way you look.

I ran without a front plate on one car for 25 years. Got yelled at by a passing state trooper once, but never got stopped. Did get a parking ticket for no plates in Chicago.
You would be surprised to see how many hardened and wanted criminals were picked up by being stopped for broken tail lights or missing plates. ;)
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
On my last gen Saris rack once I put my 2 Ebikes on it it was not supposed to have additional bikes of any kind added to the rack, yours may be different. But I always worry about over loading bike racks at 70 mph....
 

SCbiker

Active Member
Rola basket with lockable fork mount ... Also has locking pin to make theft a little harder, chose this due to flexibility for other uses and is rock solid... Rated for 500#....
 

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mrgold35

Well-Known Member
On my last gen Saris rack once I put my 2 Ebikes on it it was not supposed to have additional bikes of any kind added to the rack, yours may be different. But I always worry about over loading bike racks at 70 mph....
The speed limit is 75 mph in the southwest and I set the cruise control to 80 mph on the hwy. I do take off my seat/seat post, rack bag and fenders to limit wind drag if I travel out of town.

The 2" hitch Saris Freedom SuperClamp 4 bike rack can only do 2 ebikes (60 lbs each) for the closest rack arm to hatch and 2 regular bikes (35 lbs each) for the outer rack arm at the same time. You can't load it down that much with the 1 1/4" hitch. I usually put the bike rack on my smaller SUV because I usually only need to transport 1 or 2 ebikes locally (and I can park in the garage with the rack still on in the up stow position). I switch to my larger SUV with a 500lbs tongue weight if I need to transport +3 bikes, more gear , and people.
 
I wouldn't risk driving without the licence plate and lights being visible. Why invite trouble and fines? Luckily my carrier has a built in lightboard do it's never a problem.
 

Lost

Active Member
Seems to me if you are concerned (and it sounds like a legitimate one) running a set of trailer lights ziptied to the bikes along with the tag. Shouldn't take but a couple minutes and a few zip ties. Of course, you would need a trailer plug.