OCEAN CITY — The resort area’s vast scooter-riding community reacted as expected this week when the Maryland State Police (MSP) issued a reminder of the drastic changes involving the vehicles set to go into effect in about five weeks.
MSP and local law enforcement agencies this week issued a reminder to owners and operators of scooters and mopeds of the new laws set taking effect on Oct. 1 that will make significant changes in the use of their favored mode of transportation. As expected, the scooter-riding public reacted with numerous diatribes denouncing the rule changes through social networks and other forums.
On Oct. 1, new Maryland vehicle laws take effect requiring all scooters and mopeds to be titled and insured. In addition, the new law requires all scooter and moped operators and passengers to wear a helmet and eye protection. All operators and passengers of motor scooters and mopeds will be required to wear motorcycle helmets that meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Drivers and passengers will also be required to wear eye protection.
The new regulations are in addition to the existing laws on the books that require scooter and moped operators to possess a valid driver’s license or a moped operator’s permit. In addition, scooter and moped operators will be required to insure their vehicles and must obtain at least the minimum vehicle liability insurance. Scooter and moped operators must carry proof of insurance with then whenever they are operating the vehicles.
Scooters and mopeds will be required to be titled by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Owners will be able to obtain titling information through the MVA beginning Oct. 1. When the title is obtained, the vehicle owner will be provided with a decal that must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.
The new scooter and moped law includes specific language about where the vehicles should be operated. Most of the rules are rooted in common sense, but there are some changes pertinent to the local area. For example, scooters and mopeds may not be operated at a speed greater than 30 mph and may not be operated on a roadway with a speed limit of greater than 50 mph. In addition, headsets covering both ears, or earplugs in both ears, are not permitted.
Law enforcement agencies have received training on the new laws. Drivers who violate the new law can expect to be stopped and issued citations or warnings.