Kokomo police, in an effort to reduce injury and accidents, are cracking down on illegal mopeds.
With summer upon us, more and more of the scooters and mopeds are out and, in turn, involved in more traffic crashes.
“Yes, we see more people on mopeds these days mainly because of economic reasons,” said Maj. Brian Seldon of the Kokomo Police Department.
To increase the safety of motorists and those driving mopeds, the Kokomo Police Department sent out a news release recently reminding people of the laws pertaining to the use of mopeds.
“Yes, we are cracking down on them,” he said. “We’re trying to prevent accidents involving mopeds. It seems like since the city passed the ordinance, the accident rates have gone down in last three years.”
Under Indiana law, if you operate a two- or three-wheeled vehicle that has an engine larger than 50cc or that is designed to travel faster than 25 mph, you are operating a motorcycle and are required to have a valid operator’s license with a motorcycle endorsement.
Even though moped drivers don’t have to obtain a license plate or driver’s license to drive a moped, a city ordinance requires drivers to register them annually with the police department, Seldon said.
The registration form can be completed in person at the Kokomo Police Department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) at the records office on the second floor of City Hall.
The annual registration form requires the name of the owner of the moped, his/her address and telephone number; date of birth of operator; make, model and serial number of the moped; and the color, size and other identifying characteristics of the moped
Upon completion of the registration form and payment of the registration fees, KPD will issue a registration decal. The decals must remain affixed to the moped at all times while the moped is in operation. The initial registration costs $25 and a renewal is $10.
Those riding a moped without the proper registration or equipment can be issued a citation punishable by up to a $100 fine and have their moped impounded.
Seldon said since the ordinance was adopted, he has seen fewer violations and accidents than in the past. But the complaints keep coming in.
“We receive a lot of complaints about juveniles [on mopeds] not following the traffic laws,” Seldon said.
Even though moped drivers don’t have to be licensed, they still have to obey the laws of the road, he added.
“We still see people violating the ordinance and we will address those issues. We don’t give tickets out all the time. A lot of times we will give warnings and let them know the law.”
The statistics show moped accidents have decreased from 22 in 2011 to 16 in 2012. So far this year, KPD has reported five accidents involving mopeds.
The last fatal moped crash occurred in August of 2011 when 75-year-old Randall J. Gunter collided with a car while riding a moped near downtown.
Safety information and laws for mo-peds: A moped may not be operated under any of the following conditions: • By a person less than 15 years of age; • By a person who has not obtained an identification card, an operator's license, a chauffeur's license, or a public passenger chauffeur's license; • On an interstate highway or a sidewalk; and, • At a speed greater than 25 miles an hour. • A person less than 18 years of age is required to wear protective headgear meeting the minimum standards set by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or a helmet that meets the standards established by the United States Department of Transportation and wear protective glasses, goggles or a transparent face shield. Source: The Kokomo Police Department