Scooter summit hopes to raise awareness
They share the road with cars, trucks and motorcycles - but they're not regulated in Indiana. Now, there's a push to make mopeds and their drivers safer on the roads. A scooter summit will be held later this morning on the west side of Indianapolis.
Laws in Indiana covering mopeds and scooters haven't changed since 1991, when you actually needed a pedal to start a moped. Now, many travel much faster than 25 miles per hour.
They're not just motorized bicycles. Yet state laws just aren't clear.
That's why ABATE of Indiana - American Bikers Aimed Toward Education - is holding the scooter summit. The goal is to get people talking about clarifying the rules of the road.
Right now, to get a motorized bicycle, you don't have to have insurance. And you don't have to register the vehicle.
ABATE wants that changed.
They'd like to see scooters registered, at least so they can determine if the number of drivers who've died recently on mopeds reflects a bigger problem.
"The BMV can't put a number on that, the dealers, the industry, nobody can tell us how many actually exist. So we don't know if this is an overrepresentation or an acceptable number," explained Jay Jackson of ABATE. "Right now, since they're not registered, all we know is there were 24 people killed on these vehicles in Indiana in 2012. Now is that 24 out of 24-thousand? 24 out of 24-hundred? We don't know. And getting a grip on that number is going to help us understand the scope of the problem."
Police have trouble trying to tell the difference between a scooter with a small engine and one that's truly a motorcycle.
The scooter summit runs from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m at Speed City Cycle at 3464 West 16th Street.
Proposed changes to Indiana law could be made during the spring legislative session.