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July 29--With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law.
Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, which went into effect July 1, puts more restrictions on their use.
The new law creates two classifications of motor-driven cycle. Anything with a cylinder capacity exceeding 50 cubic centimeters is considered a Class A cycle. Drivers must obtain a valid license, proof of insurance and a plate issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to affix to their back of their bike.
Those with engines of 50 cubic centimeters or less are Class B cycles. Riders don't need a driver's license, but will be required to have a valid state ID issued by the BMV, after the rider passes a written test on road rules. Their bikes will be required to carry a BMV-issued license plate, but riders won't be required to carry insurance. The cost for registering either kind of bike with the BMV will be under $30.
Local police says they're having trouble with the new laws.
"The new law complicates the enforcement of it," Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said.
"The biggest concern is how to figure out how many cc's [cubic centimeters] prior to pulling them over. It complicates the process," he said.
Rogers and his deputies have seen an increase in the number of mo-peds on the road and are continually dealing with mo-ped drivers.
"There are more on the road because it's the only viable transportation for those people who have had their license revoked," Rogers said.
Kokomo Police Department spokesman Brian Seldon agreed, saying more mo-peds on the road means more accidents.
In 2013, KPD responded to 15 accidents involving mopeds, with three being property damage, 11 resulting in injury and one a fatality.
So far in 2014, police have already worked on 12 mo-ped accidents, including four resulting in property damage, seven involving injuries and one a fatality, Seldon said.
He's hoping the law will reduce how many mo-peds are on the road and decrease the number of accidents.
Even though the Class B mo-ped drivers don't have to be licensed, they still have to obey the laws of the road, he added.
Kokomo already has a city ordinance requiring drivers to register their vehicle annually with the police department, which has helped reduce the number of crashes, Seldon said.
People riding a mo-ped without the proper registration or equipment can be issued a citation punishable by up to a $100 fine and have their mo-ped impounded.
Mike Fletcher can be reached at 765-454-8565 or email@example.com
Registering your vehicle The Kokomo mo-ped registration form can be completed in person at the Kokomo Police Departmentbetween 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) at the records office on the second floor of City Hall. The annual registration form requires the name of the owner of the moped, his/her address and telephone number; date of birth of operator; make, model and serial number of the moped; and the color, size and other identifying characteristics of the moped. Upon completion of the registration form and payment of the registration fees, KPD will issue a registration decal. The decals must remain affixed to the moped at all times while the moped is in operation. The initial registration costs $25 and a renewal is $10.
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