Backyard-engineered and unregistered petrol bicycles will be outlawed in Tasmania as the state government declares them anti-social menaces.

Petrol-powered bikes have led to 48 reported accidents in recent years and a handful of injuries.

The bicycles are often home-built with engines from devices such as lawn-mowers.

They can be ridden at high speeds but might only have regular bicycle brakes fitted.

Tasmanian Deputy Premier Michael Ferguson said proposed laws would stop unlicensed riders, who often choose the bikes for “idiotic hooning”.

“They’re becoming a menace in our streets and footpaths, communities and bush tracks,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“They do pose a safety risk and pose an anti-social nuisance to peaceful communities.”

The legislation is due to be debated in parliament in August and Mr Ferguson says he expects full support across the chamber.

Under the proposed laws, petrol-powered bicycles will be treated as motorcycles, requiring them to be registered.

Very few, if any, will be able to meet registration standards, the government says.

They are different to electric bikes, which are limited to a maximum power output of 200 watts.

Police Minister Felix Ellis said petrol bicycles were being used to commit crimes.

“The noise is distressing for many people, particularly shift workers and others,” he said.

Extracted in full from: