We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal gray area for years in Indiana. A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicles on the road without many prerequisites, often making for dangerous driving for all involved.

Owners now are required to register their scooters, thanks to a law sponsored by State Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, and signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence last year. The new mandate took effect Thursday.

Not only that, but scooter operators will also be compelled to obtain a valid state identification and pass a road sign test, according to a story by Tribune reporter Mike Fletcher we published this past summer. (Though, they still won’t have to have insurance for their vehicles.)

This change is a positive step for everyone on the road, as the laws surrounding mo-ped use have been muddy at best for years. Unlike cars, trucks, buses and every other type of vehicle on the road, police officers may not be as familiar with the current legislation surrounding scooter usage. This law should help bring some much-needed clarity to the situation.

Mo-ped operators shouldn’t see this as a complete downside, either, as the maximum speed has been raised to 35 mph. Owners may also see registration of their vehicles as a positive step. Coupled with the law’s stipulation that dealers and manufacturers title their motorized bikes properly, the requirement to register may help recover more stolen mo-peds in the future. Anyone who listens to the police scanner or reads the police reports knows how pervasive the problem of stolen mo-peds truly is.

Mo-peds use the same roadway as everyone else. This new law is a common sense way to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Kokomo Tribune editorial board

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