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Mopeds & Scooters: Are They Considered Motorcycles?

With the increasing amount of people on Tampa Bay roads and congested parking situations that are abundant in the Downtown areas all over the county area, many commuters choose the simplicity and expediency of a scooter or moped. Both are affordable, easy to work and readily accessible. Scooters and mopeds have become the easy, more economical choice for working commuters and Clearwater tourists. Unfortunately, although scooters and mopeds offer many positive benefits, they can also often be dangerous. Using these two ways of transportation can raise the likelihood of a serious injury or death than accidents between two automobiles.

These vehicles have increased in popularity with sales that have increased up to 60% in the past 25 years. In Florida there is classification of both mopeds and motorized scooters. Individuals need to be aware of which classification their vehicle falls into due to the fact that there are different requirements for each. If the vehicle exceeds the specification for a moped or motorized scooter, it will be classified as a motorcycle and will be held subject to all Florida motorcycle licensing and registration laws.

Moped Classification in Florida:

  • A seat for the rider
  • Pedals that allow you to propel the vehicle
  • 3 wheels or fewer
  • A motor of two-brake horsepower or less
  • The maximum speed it can reach is 30mph on level ground.
  • An automatic power-drive system that does not require the rider to manually change gears.
  • Displacement of 50cc or less (for those with an internal combustion engine)
  • Valid Class E license
  • At least 16 or older to drive on a public road

Once classified as a moped, the vehicle must be registered at the local county tax collector’s office.  Motorcycle license plates will be issues which must be renewed annually. If you are under the age of 21, you will have plates that are distinguishing in color and design. Registration is $5, however after other statutory fees and titling fees, there may be more money involved. Once the moped is legally drivable, riders must understand that they are not allowed to ride in bike lanes or on sidewalks. All passengers that are 16 years old and younger must wear a helmet. Moped drivers do not need to carry Personal Injury Protection Insurance in order to be registered, although it is suggested.

Motorized Scooter Classification in Florida:

  • Does not have a seat or saddle for the rider
  • 3 wheels or fewer
  • The maximum speed it can reach is 30mph on level ground.
  • Valid Class E license
  • At least 16 years old

You do not have to register or title a motorized scooter. You cannot drive a motorized scooter on the side walk or bike lane. There are also no insurance requirements in Florida regarding the operation of a motorized scooter. If specification of the motorized scooter exceeds the definitions within the aforementioned classification list, it is then classified as a motorcycle and is subject to Florida’s laws regarding motorcycle license requirements [1].

Before you Ride

Moped and scooter crashes are involved in traffic accidents at some fascinating rates. Between the years 2002 to 2008-the last formal record of crashes- there were about 5,660 crashes. Of these crashes 18% resulted in severe fatal injury. The majority of these crashes were in urban locations. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t crashes within rural locations. Among those crashes, 35.4% resulted in severe injury compared to 25.7% in the non-severe category. With these numbers in mind and the growing usage of mopeds and scooters, one can assume that these numbers have increased [2]. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

If you were involved in an accident involving a moped or scooter please call the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation and evaluation. The law is unclear in some respect when concerning mopeds or scooters and the lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help seep through the gray area. As Tampa Bay, Clearwater and St. Petersburg moped and scooter accident lawyers, we regularly represent the interests of victims who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. Whether you are the motorcycle rider or a motorist, Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is committed to handling your injury claim and advancing the case into litigation if the insurance carrier refuses to evaluate the claim in a fair and prudent manner. Call 727-451-6900 today.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/motorcycle-accident-attorneys/

References:

[1] https://www.dmv.org/fl-florida/other-types.php
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010945/