2001 - 2002 LEGISLATURE
January 26, 2001 - Introduced by Senators Breske, Schultz, M. Meyer, Baumgart,
Huelsman and Darling, cosponsored by Representatives Olsen, Powers,
Musser, Bies, Ladwig, Townsend, Gronemus, Pettis, Ryba, Berceau, Vrakas,
Wade, Freese, M. Lehman, Urban, Krawczyk, Ward, Gunderson and Plouff.
Referred to Committee on Insurance, Tourism, and Transportation.
1An Act to amend
70.112 (5), 194.01 (7), 218.0101 (23) (a) 2., 218.0114 (5) (a), 2
218.0122 (3), 218.0171 (2) (b) 2. b., 285.30 (5) (c), 340.01 (4) (a), 341.067, 341.25 3
(title), 341.25 (1) (b), 341.297 (1), 341.31 (1) (b) 5., 341.31 (4) (c), 342.15 (4) (a), 4
342.34 (1) (c), 343.08 (1) (a) and (2) (a), 343.135 (2) (a) 1., 346.16 (2) (a), 349.105 5
and 779.41 (2); and to create
218.0101 (19m), 285.30 (5) (j), 340.01 (19d), 6
340.01 (27m), 343.135 (2) (a) 1m., 346.94 (18), 346.95 (8), 347.02 (8), 349.06 (4) 7
and 349.237 of the statutes; relating to: low-speed vehicles, granting
8rule-making authority, and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a new classification of motor vehicle called a "low-speed
vehicle." A low-speed vehicle is a motor vehicle, as defined by federal law, that
complies with applicable equipment standards, but does not include a golf cart.
Currently, federal law defines a low-speed vehicle as a four-wheeled motor vehicle,
other than a truck, that attains top speeds of not less than 20 miles per hour nor more
than 25 miles per hour on a paved, level surface. The bill generally makes low-speed
vehicles subject to the same regulations applicable to other motor vehicles, including
1. Requires low-speed vehicles to be originally manufactured to meet federal
2. Subjects dealers, distributors, manufacturers, and transporters of
low-speed vehicles to the same regulations that apply to dealers, distributors,
manufacturers, and transporters of motorcycles. Such regulations include requiring
business and occupational licensing, imputing liability for certain misconduct of
employees, and providing specific consumer protections, such as warranties,
remedies, and disclosure requirements.
3. Exempts low-speed vehicles from this state's property tax.
4. Requires low-speed vehicles to be registered with the department of
transportation (DOT) for a fee of $23 biennially, the same period and fee that apply
to motorcycles, and requires the display of a registration plate and valid proof of
registration. Ownership of and interests in low-speed vehicles is evidenced only by
a certificate of title, as with other motor vehicles.
5. Classifies low-speed vehicles as "Class D" vehicles which, like automobiles
and other "Class D" vehicles, may not be operated unless the operator possesses a
valid operator's license or instruction permit to operate "Class D" vehicles.
6. Requires the operators of low-speed vehicles to observe the rules of the road,
including this state's implied consent law, and subjects violators of those rules to the
same penalties as those that apply to violations committed while operating other
motor vehicles, including the assessment of demerit points and the imposition of
fines, forfeitures, and terms of imprisonment.
7. Makes low-speed vehicles subject to mechanics' liens.
However, because low-speed vehicles are smaller, lighter, and slower moving
than most other motor vehicles, the bill treats low-speed vehicles differently from
most other motor vehicles in the following respects:
1. Low-speed vehicles, other than those publicly owned and operated, are
restricted to highways having a speed limit of 35 or less miles per hour. Local
highway authorities may further regulate low-speed vehicles or may restrict their
operation to highways having a speed limit of 25 or less miles per hour.
2. Low-speed vehicles are prohibited from operating on state trunk highways
and connecting highways, even where the applicable speed limit is 35 or less miles
per hour. However, the bill allows low-speed vehicles to cross state trunk highways
or connecting highways at officially designated crossings and at intersections where
traffic is controlled by an official traffic control sign, signal, marking, or other device.
The bill makes low-speed vehicles eligible for registration by DOT as a specially
designed vehicle if the vehicle meets special equipment standards. Under current
law, a person who does not possess or is ineligible for a regular operator's license may
be issued a special restricted operator's license, which authorizes the operation of
only motor bicycles, mopeds, or specially designed vehicles and may further restrict
such operation as DOT determines is necessary, for example, to preserve the safety
of the operator and the public.
Finally, the bill categorically exempts low-speed vehicles from motor vehicle
emission limitations and testing.
For further information see the state and local 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:
SB29, s. 1
70.112 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
70.112 (5) Motor vehicles, bicycles, snowmobiles.
Every automobile, 3low-speed vehicle,
motor bicycle, motor bus, motorcycle, motor truck, moped, road 4
tractor, school bus, snowmobile, truck tractor, or other similar motor vehicle, or 5
trailer or semitrailer used in connection therewith.
SB29, s. 2
194.01 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
"Motor vehicle" means any automobile, truck, trailer, semitrailer, 8
tractor, motor bus or any self-propelled or motor driven vehicle, except a low-speed
motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle or a vehicle operated on rails.
SB29, s. 3
218.0101 (19m) of the statutes is created to read:
"Low-speed vehicle" has the meaning given in s. 340.01 (27m).
SB29, s. 4
218.0101 (23) (a) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 2. Is engaged wholly or in part in the business of selling or 14
leasing motor vehicles, including motorcycles and low-speed vehicles
, whether or 15
not the motor vehicles are owned by that person, firm or corporation.
SB29, s. 5
218.0114 (5) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) A motor vehicle dealer or an applicant for a motor vehicle 18
dealer license shall provide and maintain in force a bond or irrevocable letter of credit 19
of not less than $25,000 or, if the dealer or applicant sells or proposes to sell 20
motorcycles or low-speed vehicles, or both,
and not other types of motor vehicles, a 21
bond or irrevocable letter of credit of not less than $5,000. The bond or letter of credit
shall be executed in the name of the department of transportation for the benefit of 2
any person who sustains a loss because of an act of a motor vehicle dealer that 3
constitutes grounds for the suspension or revocation of a license under ss. 218.0101 4
SB29, s. 6
218.0122 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
This section does not apply to motorcycles
or low-speed vehicles 7
that are delivered in a crated, disassembled condition to the dealer or the dealer's 8
SB29, s. 7
218.0171 (2) (b) 2. b. of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 2. b. Accept return of the motor vehicle and refund to the 11
consumer and to any holder of a perfected security interest in the consumer's motor 12
vehicle, as their interest may appear, the full purchase price plus any sales tax, 13
finance charge, amount paid by the consumer at the point of sale and collateral costs, 14
less a reasonable allowance for use. Under this subdivision, a reasonable allowance 15
for use may not exceed the amount obtained by multiplying the full purchase price 16
of the motor vehicle by a fraction, the denominator of which is 100,000 or, for a 17
motorcycle or low-speed vehicle
, 20,000, and the numerator of which is the number 18
of miles the motor vehicle was driven before the consumer first reported the 19
nonconformity to the motor vehicle dealer.
SB29, s. 8
285.30 (5) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) A motor vehicle exempt from registration under s. 341.05, except 22
that a motor vehicle owned by the United States is not exempt unless it comes under 23
par. (a), (b), (d), (e), (f), (g) or,
(h), or (j)
SB29, s. 9
285.30 (5) (j) of the statutes is created to read:
(j) A low-speed vehicle, as defined in s. 340.01 (27m).
SB29, s. 10
340.01 (4) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) Type 1 is a motor vehicle designed and used primarily for carrying 3
persons but which does not come within the definition of a low-speed vehicle,
bus, motorcycle, moped or motor bicycle.
SB29, s. 11
340.01 (19d) of the statutes is created to read:
"Golf cart" means a vehicle whose speed attainable in one mile 7
does not exceed 20 miles per hour on a paved, level surface, and is used to convey one 8
or more persons and equipment to play the game of golf in an area designated as a 9
SB29, s. 12
340.01 (27m) of the statutes is created to read:
"Low-speed vehicle" means a low-speed vehicle, as defined in 49
, that satisfies the equipment standards under 49 CFR 571.500
and which 13
was originally manufactured to meet the applicable equipment standards under 49
. "Low-speed vehicle" does not include a golf cart.
SB29, s. 13
341.067 of the statutes is amended to read:
16341.067 Registration of special vehicles.
The department shall register a 17
specially designed vehicle which is authorized for operation by a person holding a 18
special restricted operator's license under s. 343.135 if the special vehicle meets the 19
equipment standards established under s. 347.02 (6) or (8)
SB29, s. 14
341.25 (title) of the statutes is amended to read: