Scooter and Moped Riders Face New Laws in October
Annapolis police and fire departments support the new laws requiring state registration and helmets for moped and scooter riders.
Riders of motor scooters and moped will be impacted by new laws that go into effect this fall.
The new laws, which kick in on Oct. 1, require all motor scooters and mopeds to be titled and insured, while all operators and passengers must wear a helmet and eye protection.
The Annapolis Police Department has been informing owners of recovered stolen and found motor scooters of the new titling law and encouraging them to title their scooters before the law takes effect, said Detective Amy Miguez.
Owners of motor scooters and mopeds are currently able to voluntarily title their vehicles through Maryland's Motor Vehicle Association. Owners also will be able to obtain titling information through the MVA website starting Oct. 1.
Miguez said the "department has encouraged motor scooter and moped titling because it makes it easier to find the owner of a found scooter, and it creates a record of the scooter's information that can be accessed if the owner cannot provide it."
The Annapolis Fire Department's spokesman John Menassa said he's always considering a helmet essential equipment.
"The chances of a head injury at 20 mph is really significant and most scooters go well above that," Menassa said. "I would say the fire department probably unanimously supports [the helmet] decision."
Menassa said he sees only about 50 percent of the people who drive scooters wearing helmets.
Existing laws also require all motor scooter and moped operators to possess a valid driver’s license or a moped operator’s permit, according to a release from the Maryland State Police.
At least the minimum vehicle liability insurance is required, and riders must carry proof of the insurance with them whenever they are operating the scooter or moped.
The drivers of motor scooters and mopeds are required to follow the same rules of the road as bicycles.
Troopers and local law enforcement across Maryland have received training regarding the new laws. Scooter and moped drivers who violate the new law can expect to be stopped and issued traffic citations or warnings, beginning Oct. 1.
What do you think of the new scooter and moped laws?