BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Motor scooters and mopeds are a cheap way to get around.
But riders tell Suzanne Collins it won’t be worth it if lawmakers soon force them to get a title and insurance.
Pat Strow says his scooter paid for itself in gas savings in three years. He doesn’t like the idea that’s gaining popularity in Annapolis to require scooters and mopeds to be licensed and insured.
“The scooter has about the same power, speed and agility as a healthy person on a bicycle, so maybe they’ll start regulating bicycles. It’s getting ridiculous. Who can we hurt?” said Pat Strow.
Scooters can go 30 miles an hour on roads with speed limits of 50 or less, but some neighborhoods are fed up with young irresponsible drivers.
“For one, they’re loud. For two, they ride down the street and they don’t even stop. They can come barreling down there. Next thing you know they’re going to run into a side of a car,” said William West.
A Maryland Senate committee has just voted “yes” to regulating scooters and mopeds and requiring helmets.
The senator who sponsored the bill says if a car driver crashed with a moped it can be a nightmare because they are not required to have insurance.
“People have come to me and said how does this happen that these people can be on the road and if they are going more than 35, 40 miles per hour if they run into you, who’s liable for that with no insurance? I have to pay for my own damage on my own car,” said Senator Kathy Klausmeier.
The manager of B&B Customs says helmets are a good idea and registering could help if a scooter is stolen, but buying $200 of insurance and paying fees could prevent sales.
“I think the helmet law should go through. As far as the titling, tagging and extra fees I think that’s going to severely hurt our business,” said Brad Medley, B&B Customs.
More powerful scooters over 50 cubic centimeters already must have license and insurance like motorcycles, but the new law would extend that to the small ones under 50 ccs.
There has been a surge in the popularity of scooters in recent years, especially when they can get up to 100 miles per gallon.