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Moped, scooter owners rev up to comply with new riding rules

October 04, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration south of Hagerstown was kept busy by moped and scooter riders who were observing a new state law that took effect Monday.

MVA Manager Rebecca Snyder said 26 moped and scooter riders visited the office on that day to purchase a registration decal for their vehicles. The new law requires people who buy a moped or scooter to register their vehicles, show proof of insurance, and wear a helmet and eye protection.

“So far, it’s going pretty smooth,” Snyder said. “People have been (eager) to register, and that’s a good thing.”

Maryland State Police said all moped and scooter riders must get their vehicles titled and insured, effective Oct. 1, 2012.

Hagerstown resident John Huse Jr. said he purchased his scooter in March for $842. He said he decided to do it Monday to get it out of the way.

“It’s either follow the law or they’ll confiscate your scooter,” he said.

Huse, 26, said he bought the scooter because it gets good gas mileage. He said he wasn’t thrilled about spending an extra $26 a month for insurance, but said he understood the importance of holding riders accountable if they cause an accident.

“It’s a vehicle, so you should have insurance,” he said.

Huse said he believed that a lot of scooters might disappear from the roads because of the extra costs associated with the new law.

James Coblentz, 64, said he bought a scooter to save gas money.

He said he believed that the $5 fee for the registration decal was fair.

Before the law was passed, Coblentz said he didn’t have insurance for his scooter.

“I never gave it much thought,” he said.

Now, Coblentz said he is glad there’s a requirement. He said the insurance might prevent him from getting sued if he causes an accident while riding his scooter.

Coblentz said he believes it’s about time that moped and scooter riders are being held responsible.

“I’d expect them to pay for it (if they hit me),” he said.

Snyder said people who want to avoid lines can go the MVA’s website to register their mopeds and scooters online.

The website’s address is www.mva.maryland.gov/About-MVA/INFO/27300/27300-76T.htm.

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