Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

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PUBLIC SAFETY:

Follow the rules, moped drivers, or Metro will ticket you

More from KSNV

Watch Marie Mortera’s report on the training traffic officers receive at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. today on KSNV Channel 3.

Moped drivers, beware: Traveling in bike lanes, on sidewalks or not following standard driving rules could result in a ticket.

Metro Police say they’re cracking down on moped drivers as the motor-driven scooters become more common on Las Vegas roadways.

“People look at it as a great way to get to and from work,” Metro traffic Lt. Richard Fletcher said. “I agree, but there are some limitations to a moped just like there are limitations to a motorcycle or a four-wheel drive truck.”

By Nevada law, a moped does not require insurance or vehicle registration if it cannot exceed 30 mph and produces no more than two gross brake horsepower.

“When we see mopeds going down the road at 45 mph, that’s not a moped anymore,” Fletcher said. “That’s a motorcycle.”

Procell Motorsports on Charleston Boulevard sells mopeds ranging in price from $699 to $1,299.

General Manager Sean Murphy said Procell’s moped sales began increasing three years ago near the start of the recession and have continued in the past 12 to 18 months.

“The average reaction from the public has been much more favorable,” Murphy said.

Management at Scooter Stop on Decatur Boulevard confirmed reported moped sales as well, saying shipments typically sell out each week.

Murphy said customers — who come from all walks of life — cite a variety of factors when buying mopeds, such as less fuel consumption and the absence of insurance or registration costs.

He’s seen families buying mopeds as second vehicles and college students buying them for easy transportation.

“To be quite honest, it’s been a lot of fun,” Murphy said, referring to the daily moped sales.

A bill requiring moped registration and protective headgear for drivers in Nevada failed in the 2011 legislative session.

Even so, Fletcher advised people to research legal mopeds before purchasing something that’s actually considered a motorcycle — and therefore subject to different requirements, such as registration and protective gear.

“People aren’t realizing that,” Fletcher said. “They’re looking at it as cheap transportation, which it is.”

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  1. Kingofbail, actually bike cops when riding the bike are in fact an emergency vehicle. They do in fact have lights & a baby siren. So before you bring metro into this you should at least get your facts straight.

  2. Bradley --

    Your comments show that your lack of knowledge of traffic law. Motorized vehicles, even mopeds under 50cc, are required to follow traffic laws like any other motorized vehicle.

    As taught in the motorcycle safety class I took many years ago, driving on the "far right side of the road" is asking for an accident. They teach (and rightly so) to occupy the lane, to prevent a car from going side-by-side in one lane with you. Venture rider has a better statement, that all moped/scooters should be in the right lane, except when making a left turn. Particularly if they can't go the speed of regular traffic.

    That being said, my scooter is 250cc, fully licensed and insured. Oh, and of course it can go 70mph. So I drive it in whatever lane I like. But most scooters aren't that big.

  3. I'm feeling some road rage from BChap.

  4. "This would include the drivers of "Hoverounds" which I'm sure you think have complete rights to our main express and turn lanes."

    BChap -- you beat me to the punch on that one. Way too many times have I seen people driving one of those little electric carts down the road as if they were just another car. They're a far greater hazard than the average scooter. Or any unregistered vehicle.

    "Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have." -- Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), Republican Senator from Arizona, 1964 candidate for President

  5. I think the slow ones should be allowed on sidewalks as it is safer for vehicular traffic, though of course the mopeds would have to exercise caution around pedestrians. Of course the use of bike lanes would be better overall for everyone.