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Board: Educate moped operators

The swarms of mopeds and motor scooters that roar through capitals in Europe and Asia may never appear on District streets but there are enough of them now that authorities want their riders to understand the rules.

A number of moped and halsey.gifscooter riders have complained after being stopped by police, who have warned or ticketed them for failing to comply with various registration and operator requirements. Received by the Police Complaints Board (PCB), the objections revealed a general unawareness that mopeds and motor scooters capable of speeds greater than 35 mph are classified as motorcycles and are subject to motorcycle registration, licensing, and helmet requirements.

The PCB recommended that a brochure be created for distribution at police stations and District Department of Motor Vehicles offices. It also proposed development of a public service announcement for television and radio explaining the requirements.

-- Ashley Halsey III

Report and Recommendations

Do you use a moped or a motor scooter in the Washington area? Tell us about your experiences by posting a comment below, or sending an e-mail to

By Michael Bolden  | August 16, 2010; 6:06 PM ET
Categories:  District, Traffic Safety  
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In regard to the laws governing mopeds in VA, Mr. Halsey is incorrect. Motor scooters CAN be CAPABLE of speeds greater than 35 mph, but the must not be OPERATED at a speed faster than 35 miles per hour. The engine size limitation is under 50cc. You also need an ID and most localities require a helmet, even though it is not a motorcycle. So to recap: Helmet, I.D., 16 years of age or older, under 50cc limit, 35 MPH limit.

Posted by: phog | August 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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