The sun is shinning, and as we put away our heavy winter jackets, many people are taking things out of storage that they use during the warmer months; cleaning the grill, opening and prepping the pool and getting set to ride some variation of a two wheel mode of transportation; which might be a bicycle, a motorcycle or a moped. A “bike,” and by whatever means it’s propelled, may not be your speed – so to speak – but any driver on the road must be certain not to completely disregard them either. They’re out there; ignoring them also means ignoring state and municipal traffic laws, which is not only illegal, but it recklessly endangers the lives of the people you’d just as soon pretend aren’t there, who are just minding their business.
As an owner and driver a moped myself, I can attest to the importance of observing and respecting others out and about. Some traffic laws differ by state (which is an excellent reason to utilizing our written exam review program, Road Rules; which comes free with SimuRide Home, or can be purchased separately from our online store); in the state where I live, mopeds are classified as “a motor vehicle with the engine as an integral part of the vehicle,” that does not exceed a 50cc engine. The term scooter and moped are also used interchangeably by the state’s definition. Mopeds, being registered motor vehicles, and requiring drivers to be licensed and are subject to all traffic laws; are entitled to a full lane of traffic on most public roads. Despite this, I have witnessed firsthand people disregarding traffic laws, passing me on the wrong side of the road (from the right), sometimes in zones that are marked as no passing; each time as I drive the speed limit.
I mean, I get it; my moped tops out at 40 mph; which is best achieved if I’m going down a hill, with the wind at my back. So there’s invariably a mindset about mopeds that suggests to people they are somehow less of a real vehicle that doesn’t deserve the same courtesy extended to other motorists – but they do. I may not be able to keep pace with you on an interstate where the speed limit is 65+ per hour, and I wouldn’t try; in part because such roads, being restricted access, are among the only roads (along with any road where they’re expressly prohibited) that mopeds are not otherwise allowed to drive by law. Driving down a regular city street where the posted speed limit is 25 mph, where I and others on mopeds can easily keep up with traffic, means pretending like they’re anything less than any other vehicle on the road is wrong.