Editor's note: This is the fourth part in a series of reports about the use of scooters in the area -- what qualifies as a moped, the proper use of a moped and the laws and regulations concerning moped use on the roadway.
In the search for an economical means of transportation because of skyrocketing gas prices, many people are turning to mopeds without taking the time to learn how to operate the vehicle or learn the rules of the road.
It is a growing problem throughout the country.
"We get a lot of complaints from people wanting to know about whether a moped driver needs to have an operators license, insurance coverage or proper plates on the vehicle," Brazil City Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said. "They are concerned about what happens when they get into an accident with one of these vehicles."
In many states, a driver of a moped does not need to have a license or insurance to ride in the street, but Indiana law does not leave much room for confusion.
Indiana Code: 9-21-11-12 states that the legal age for a person to operate a moped on the roadways of Indiana is 15 years old, while IC: 9-24 states an operator must possess a valid Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles issued photo I.D., learners permit or a driver's license.
Other requirements by Indiana law are:
- A helmet meeting the minimum standards set by the Indiana BMV and protective glasses, goggles or a transparent face shield are required safety gear by the state for any moped operator under the age of 18-years old.
- mopeds are not allowed to be driven on an interstate highway or a sidewalk.
the vehicle and a drug pipe with methamphetamine
- A moped must not be driven faster than 25 miles per hour.
A person who violates these laws commits a Class C infraction which, if ticketed and convicted, is punishable with a fine of up to $500.
The operator of a moped must also abide by all vehicular traffic laws in Indiana, while all other scooters must obey the motorcycle regulations and all vehicular traffic laws in Indiana.
Tomorrow: Do moped riders need insurance coverage?
Sidebars: Gas Scooter Safety Tips:
1. Read and understand the vehicle's instruction manual.
2. Observe all safety and warning labels on the vehicle.
3. Always wear safety gear, including a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, gloves and shoes.
4. Check the vehicle for any defects before riding including all nuts and bolts, the brakes, the frame and tires.
5. Never ride on sidewalks or dart out of driveways or from between parked cars.
6. Stop at all stop signs and lights while obeying all traffic laws.
7. Be careful when visually checking traffic, taking extra care to insure that you do not swerve when looking over your shoulder.
Always go with traffic flow and keep to the far side of the road.
Did you know that if a person is operating a lawn mower under the influence of alcohol or drugs they could be asked to take a drug test?
Indiana Traffic Code 9-30-6-2. States that a person operating a vehicle impliedly consents to submit to the chemical test for intoxication provisions as a condition of operating a vehicle in Indiana.
"If the wheels of your vehicle move, you have given consent to take a drug test if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer," Brazil Police Chief Mark Loudermilk told the Brazil Times Wednesday afternoon.