RICHMOND, Va. - Moped riders in this state will need to wear helmets and eye protection, and carry identification under new regulations set to go into effect July 1.
Virginia law will require every moped driver to carry a government-issued photo ID (which does not have to be a driver's license), and every moped driver and passenger must wear a helmet while riding, according to the new law. Drivers also must wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, unless the moped has a windshield.
Mopeds operated on Virginia roadways will need to be titled and registered by July 1, 2014; howeer, moped owners can jumpstart the process this summer, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Titles cost $10 and the annual registration fee is $20.25, according to the DMV.
"Under current law, the lack of any identifying information on a moped makes them nearly impossible to recover after theft and complicates identification of the vehicle and operator in the event of a crash," the DMV noted. "For example, a member of the law enforcement community recounted a situation where it took a few days to identify a victim who had died in a moped crash because there was no identifying information on the victim or moped. Requiring titling and registration of mopeds will allow law enforcement to better track mopeds that are stolen and/or used in the commission of crimes and would allow them to more effectively deal with moped crashes."
According to the DMV, there have been 2,062 crashes involving mopeds in the state; 31 of which resulted in fatalities. Nearly all crashes (1,967) resulted in injuries, the agency said.
The Virginia DMV last year established an ongoing work group to study a number of non-conventional vehicles including mopeds at the request of the state's general assembly.
"The number of mopeds on Virginia roads has increased significantly as a result of the rising cost of gas, along with the affordability and availability of mopeds. With the increased number of mopeds sharing our roads, there has been an increase in the number of concerns expressed from the public, law-enforcement, and traffic safety advocates regarding the proper use of mopeds, their safety on the roads, and the existing laws surrounding the operation of mopeds on public streets," the agency said.
Download the study HERE.
Posted by Mary Slepicka