Thursday, December 10, 2009


A moped, sometimes called a "scooter," is a motor vehicle with the engine as an integral part of the vehicle. If the engine is an add-on it's likely the vehicle is a motor bicycle, which has limited operation on highways different from motorcycles and mopeds. A moped engine may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters (CCs) in size with an automatic transmission, or 130 CCs in size if it is a bicycle type vehicle with fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power.

Traditionally, mopeds had fully operative pedals but modern mopeds are usually more like small motorcycles with an automatic transmission and no pedals.

Differences between a moped and a motorized scooter

A motorized scooter is similar to a traditional foot-propelled scooter with two small wheels except it is powered by either an electric motor or gasoline engine. A person operating a motorized scooter typically is in the standing position although some scooters are equipped with a bicycle seat.

MopedsUnlike mopeds, which may be driven legally on public roads, a motorized scooter may not be operated legally on public roads or sidewalks within a roadway’s right-of-way.

Motorized scooters do not meet federal safety equipment standards for motor vehicles and are not designed for operation on roadways. Therefore, the law treats motorized scooters like lawn tractors, all-terrain vehicles, go-carts, mini-bikes and other off-road motor vehicles that are not allowed on public roads.

In addition, anyone operating a motorized scooter on a street or sidewalk without a valid driver’s license could receive a citation for operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license. For juveniles, such a violation could result in their being ineligible for a driver’s license when they turn age 16.

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