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IN lawmaker tries, again, to regulate mopeds

Representative Milo Smith (R-Columbus) has been trying without luck for three sessions to pass legislation changing how mopeds are licensed and regulated in Indiana.  He thinks an increase in attention to the issue gives him reason to believe the fourth time’s the charm.

The past three sessions, Smith’s moped legislation has passed the House but died in the Senate.  He says its failure is due in large part to a philosophy in the General Assembly of less, not more regulation.  But he says leaving mopeds unregulated affects all drivers.

“Someone said to me, ‘The little guy on the moped – if you hit one of them, they’re the one that’s going to get hurt.’  Well I challenge them to say, ‘If you are driving your vehicle on the road and hit someone on a moped and you seriously injure them or take their life, you’re the one that’s going to remember that the rest of your life.’”

The bill would require mopeds to be licensed and plated by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which Smith says helps their owners identify them in cases of theft and allows other motorists to identify them if their drivers aren’t obeying traffic laws.  Smith says his bill won’t require moped drivers to have a driver’s license.

“If someone’s lost their license and can’t get back and forth to work and there’s not public transportation in all communities, this is one way they resort to get back and forth to work.  So I’m not opposed to giving them a second chance.”

Smith’s legislation would also set a moped’s speed limit at 25 miles per hour. Although, he says he’s flexible on increasing that to 30 or 35.