Martinsville Indiana wants to "clarify" the laws

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Martinsville Indiana wants to "clarify" the laws

Postby Micronaut » Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:46 pm

City hopes to clarify its scooter-riding rules
By By Bridgett Morales-Kilgore | Times correspondent
Saturday October 1, 2005

With gas prices hovering around the $3 mark, people may be getting more creative with their transportation choices.

Scooters — already popular with teenagers — may be one way to get around the county at a relatively low cost, but police want to remind scooter riders, young and old, that rules still need to be followed.

Scooter laws in Indiana are vague, but Martinsville Police Chief Frans Hollanders is trying to help clarify the Indiana code for the community, assigning Officer Brian Chambers to work with the prosecutor’s office to provide a clearer explanation of the laws pertaining to mopeds and scooters.

"We have had a lot of questions from parents since scooters have become so popular," Chambers said.

Causing the confusion, the chief said, is that Indiana code isn't keeping up with the types of scooters and mopeds available on the market. State code defines scooters as "motorized bicycles," with a motor not exceeding 50 cubic centimeters, with not more than a two horsepower engine and capable of speeds no more than 25 mph.

Chambers explains that a moped or scooter with more than a 50 cubic centimeter engine and more than two horsepower is classified as a motorcycle.

With the complex definition and a variety of mopeds and scooters on the market, Chambers warns parents that a more powerful scooter or moped could actually be classified as a motorcycle.

"Some manufacturers list a 49 cubic centimeter engine but with three or four horsepower capacity, which would classify the moped as a motorcycle," Chambers said. Motorcycle drivers by law must be over 16 years of age and possess a driver's license with a valid motorcycle endorsement.

According to Chambers, some local merchants are providing the Indiana law to customers when a moped or scooter is purchased.

"Many of the moped dealers know what can be on the streets or not," Chambers said.

Drivers in violation of the laws can legally be cited and the vehicle towed. If the moped or scooter is found to be classified as a motorcycle, drivers can be cited for operating a motorcycle without an endorsement and the vehicle impounded.

In addition, Indiana laws require moped and scooter drivers to be over the age of 15, carry identification and wear a helmet and eye protection.

The explanation of Indiana laws regarding moped and scooters can be found on the Martinsville Web site under the police department listing at
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