Police say new mo-ped law hard to enforce

(Kokomo Tribune Photo, Tim Bath, file)

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law.

Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, which went into effect July 1, puts more restrictions on their use.

The new law creates two classifications of motor-driven cycle. Anything with a cylinder capacity exceeding 50 cubic centimeters is considered a Class A cycle. Drivers must obtain a valid license, proof of insurance and a plate issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to affix to their back of their bike.

Those with engines of 50 cubic centimeters or less are Class B cycles. Riders don’t need a driver’s license, but will be required to have a valid state ID issued by the BMV, after the rider passes a written test on road rules. Their bikes will be required to carry a BMV-issued license plate, but riders won’t be required to carry insurance. The cost for registering either kind of bike with the BMV will be under $30.

Local police says they’re having trouble with the new laws.

“The new law complicates the enforcement of it,” Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers told the Kokomo Tribune.

“The biggest concern is how to figure out how many cc’s (cubic centimeters) prior to pulling them over. It complicates the process,” he said.

Rogers and his deputies have seen an increase in the number of mo-peds on the road and are continually dealing with mo-ped drivers.

“There are more on the road because it’s the only viable transportation for those people who have had their license revoked,” Rogers said.

Kokomo Police Department spokesman Brian Seldon agreed, saying more mo-peds on the road means more accidents.

In 2013, KPD responded to 15 accidents involving mo-peds, with three being property damage, 11 resulting in injury and one a fatality.

So far in 2014, police have already worked on 12 mo-ped accidents, including four resulting in property damage, seven involving injuries and one a fatality, Seldon said.

He’s hoping the law will reduce how many mo-peds are on the road and decrease the number of accidents.

Even though the Class B mo-ped drivers don’t have to be licensed, they still have to obey the laws of the road, he added.

Kokomo already has a city ordinance requiring drivers to register their vehicle annually with the police department, which has helped reduce the number of crashes, Seldon said.

People riding a mo-ped without the proper registration or equipment can be issued a citation punishable by up to a $100 fine and have their mo-ped impounded.

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