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Letter: Officials need to take action on mo-ped safety

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

This community has had several incidents this summer with mo-peds/scooters or motorized bicycles. I have researched state laws regarding these vehicles and know our elected officials (mayor, council and county prosecutor) and their representatives (law enforcement officers) have been failing the community in protecting operators of automobiles on our city streets. Mo-ped/scooter operators are exceeding the laws of this state.

When not speeding, they are operating their vehicles in the middle of the lanes impeding the normal flow of traffic, riding double and not wearing the proper safety equipment.

Many mo-peds have been modified by changing exhaust systems or altering the standards in which the mo-ped/scooter was designed or intended to increase speed and, therefore, becoming illegal.

I have seen situations where the operators of the mo-peds/scooters were challenging the other vehicles around them to the roadway. My vehicles are required by law to have insurance, and an operator must be licensed. I’m not sure what these mo-ped/scooter operators have, and I don’t feel as if police officers are bothering to check their compliance with Indiana laws.

If citizens of this community would take time to check the Indiana state codes, they would see that we are, indeed, being sorely under-protected. I ask drivers of automobiles if they are involved in an accident with a mo-ped/scooter, will their auto insurance increase? Will their driving privileges suffer? Who will pay your legal fees?

If the mo-ped/scooter operator hits you, do you feel they are properly insured? Will they cover your damages or loss? All of us expect some protection from law enforcement. It’s time for all of us (operators of automobiles, mo-peds/scooters) to ask for help from our city officials in seeing that our officers start protecting us all.

Many times mo-peds travel our city streets at a lesser speed and use the entire roadway or lane. Common sense tells us that if a mo-ped is legal and not exceeding the 25 mph of their vehicle, then all mo-peds/scooters should be traveling to the right side of the roadway at the curb or shoulder.

This is according to Indiana code. If mo-peds/scooters are able to keep up with the general speed limit of our city streets (30 mph), then their vehicle is illegal and should be classified as a motorcycle and follow the rules of the road and Indiana law.

Once again, I wish everyone in Columbus, Seymour and surrounding communities would question our elected officials and community leaders in why law enforcement officials in our communities are not requiring the operators of these slow-

moving vehicles to follow Indiana law, as operators of licensed vehicles are required.

When operators of these mo-peds/scooters are injured, we are all responsible. Several operators of these under-

regulated vehicles have been severely injured or lost their lives recently in our community. We are responsible in the way that we have not required our officials to do their jobs. Protect us all.

This letter was received on Sept. 4 from Paul Rothrock of Columbus.

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