Starting Monday, the ridiculous pass that mopeds and scooters in Maryland have been given on the most basic safety precautions will end. Moped and scooter drivers now must equip their death traps by wearing a helmet and some kind of eye protection. Scooter drivers must also register their vehicles and have a valid drivers’ license or a moped/scooter permit.
Maryland was one of the few remaining states that did not require a license, registration, and insurance for mopeds (or mo-peds? I can’t decide).
It seems just insane to me that drivers of motor scooters and mopeds – who otherwise are required to follow the same laws as bicyclist – were not required to wear a safety helmet. I have to admit, I just learned this fact today. I also wonder how many of the scooters and mopeds were used as an end-run around the driver losing his license after a DWI? I think technically the law was that you were precluded from driving a moped if you were under 16 or your license was invalid. But, if you don’t need a license to drive one, who is really going to hold anyone’s feet to the fire on that? Anyway, that is all water under the bridge. Maryland has now moved into 2012.