Staying safe when driving a motor scooter

moped and scooter accident lawyerMany Seattleites are opting to drive scooters or mopeds for those zip around town trips. Not only are scooters and mopeds economical but they are fun to drive and and express a joie de vivre attitude. It is important, however, to select the scooter or moped that is right for you, one that has sufficient power to be safe for the driving you intend to do and also for you to take and pass a qualified safety course to obtain a motorcycle endorse
In this blog posting, we provide some useful information about scooter safety and Washington state scooter laws.

What is a moped?

A moped can have either an electric of fuel-based motor that is 50cc’s or smaller. Mopeds cannot travel more than 30 miles per hour. To operate a moped on city streets you do not have to have a motorcycle endorsement or auto insurance however you are required to have a driver license, register the moped, sear a helmet and use eye protection if your moped does not have a windshield. You are not allowed to ride a moped on sidewalks, bicycle paths, hiking trails or on highways.

What is a scooter?

A scooter is a motorcycle that allows the rider to mount it by stepping through the frame with a platform for the driver’s feet. Most scooters have a front that conceals the rider’s legs and housing that conceals the engine. A scooter generally has smaller wheels than a motorcycle. For legal purposes, in Washington state scooters are any 2-wheel or 3-wheel vehicle that has a larger than 50cc motor/engine and can travel at speed of 30 mph or more.

Scooters are required to have the same type of driver’s license endorsement as other motorcycles. To receive an endorsement, the driver must pass a motorcycle safety course at an improved school AND pass a knowledge and riding skills test at the training school and then go to the licensing office to obtain the motorcycle endorsement.

Scooter and Moped Rules

The following are requirements for scooter and moped drivers:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license. Scooter drivers must also have a motorcycle endorsement.
  • You must use turn signals when changing lanes or turning.
  • You can not split lanes or dart in and out of traffic.
  • You are prohibited from riding on sidewalks, bicycle lanes and hiking trails.
  • You should not use alcohol or drugs when operating a scooter or moped.

Scooter and Moped Safety Tips

  • Make sure other drivers see you by wearing bright colors and reflectors and make sure your headlights, brake lights and taillights are operating correctly.
  • Because scooters and mopeds do not have electronic stability control as do newer motorcycle models, be especially careful when cornering or on curves.
  • Do not speed and be extra careful about your speed when there is loose gravel or other debris on the highway.
  • Be careful in intersections, driveways and entrances to parking lots as other drivers may not see you.
  • Avoid riding in other motorists blind spots.
  • Ride with both hands on the handle bars.
  • Keep both feet on the floorboards.
  • Avoid potholes, bumps and other road surface hazards.
  • Do not carry a passenger unless your scooter is rated to do so.

Here is a list of approved Motorcycle Safety Courses in Western Washington. Classes are available in Anacortes, Auburn, Bellingham, Everett, Kelso, Kent, Kirkland, Renton and Seattle.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motorcycle accidents, scooter accidents and moped accidents. Contact a Bellevue motorcycle accident lawyer today if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.