Mopeds typically have 50cc motors and are legally limited to a maximum speed of 25mph, making them unsuitable for highway use, as is the case with any vehicle with an engine capacity of less than 150cc. Electric scooters that use Swagtron scooter chargers also fall into this category, despite some engine-powered scooters having an engine capacity of over 150cc.
Living in a busy city may lead you to consider purchasing a scooter or moped to get around quickly and avoid traffic. These vehicles are increasingly popular with adults for commuting purposes, but they can also be used for leisure activities. Many people enjoy using them during weekends to spend quality time with friends or family. Additionally, for young people who are unable to obtain a driver’s license or afford a car, two-wheeled vehicles are often their first taste of freedom.
Despite the appeal of taking a scooter anywhere, there are certain restrictions in place when it comes to using them on highways due to their classification as low-speed devices. This applies in pretty much any state around the United States. Therefore, if you plan on purchasing a scooter or moped, it’s worth reading this article to learn where you can and cannot ride them.
Scooters vs. Mopeds
One may ask, what distinguishes scooters from mopeds? Scooters are typically lightweight, two-wheeled vehicles with a seat for the rider and are often considered a less powerful version of motorcycles. However, electric scooters have recently gained popularity as an alternative to kick-scooters. Due to their low speed and open design, e-scooters are typically banned from highways in most areas. It is crucial to check with local administration to ensure legal compliance when riding e-scooters on public roads.
Mopeds, on the other hand, are less powerful than traditional scooters and were initially described in 1952 as vehicles with both pedals and a motor. Nowadays, mopeds no longer feature pedals, but the term remains in use. It is worth noting that all these vehicles come with particular highway regulations in most states. Some cities have even banned e-scooters from public use to protect pedestrians from potential accidents.
Highway regulations for scooters and Mopeds
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not a non-electric scooter is suitable for highway use. The engine’s power and capacity are the most important, with two main categories: 50cc and 125cc. Although technically a 50cc scooter can be ridden on highways, in most cases, a full license is required.
However, riders under 16 years old might face restrictions. L-plates are not permitted on highways, so without a full license, riders are unable to use their scooter on highways. Furthermore, 50cc scooters have a top speed of 30mph, making them risky for use on freeways. Although some 50cc vehicles can be ridden on freeways, many are restricted to 49cc, which makes them unsuitable.
125cc scooters, on the other hand, have a higher top speed of around 68mph and are generally considered safer for use on freeways. However, riders must also hold a full license and have experience with motorway driving. It is important to note that scooters do not provide the same protection as cars, so riders must exercise caution to prevent accidents.
In addition to the legal and safety aspects of riding a scooter on the highway, there are also practical considerations to keep in mind. For example, if you plan on using your scooter for commuting or long-distance travel, a 50cc model may not be the most efficient choice due to its limited speed and power.
On the other hand, a 125cc scooter may be a more viable option, but you’ll need to factor in other considerations such as fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, and insurance rates. It’s also important to note that riding a scooter on the highway can be more physically demanding than riding on local roads, as you’ll be exposed to more wind and vibration.
Ultimately, whether or not you should take your scooter on the highway depends on a variety of factors, including your experience, skill level, and comfort level with highway riding. If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to start by practicing on quieter roads and gradually working your way up to faster and more challenging environments.
Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear such as a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing, and to follow all traffic laws and regulations. With the right preparation and precautions, riding a scooter on the highway can be a fun and enjoyable experience.
Most powerful scooters require insurance and their riders must have motorcycle licenses. However, the same rule may not apply to mopeds. Mopeds are less powerful and may not require either of these two requirements.
It’s important to note that mopeds have a legal speed limit of 25 mph and must be clearly marked as such. Riders as young as 14 can obtain a license to operate a moped, whereas the same may not apply to scooters (depending on their power).
For those with less experience, the legal requirements for these vehicles may not be clear. Researching online is not always sufficient, as rules and regulations can vary depending on the state, city, or area. Contacting local authorities is the best way to ensure compliance.
The use of the same language to refer to both types of vehicles can also create confusion. Although some differences may be more legal than performance-based, it’s important to understand these distinctions to avoid penalties.
Law enforcement has observed mopeds driving on the left lane, which is extremely hazardous. Riders should be aware of the danger of high closing speeds between cars and mopeds, which can cause accidents. Avoiding freeways is recommended, as well as wearing brightly-colored clothes, reflective vests, and helmets.
Mopeds and scooters offer little protection against larger vehicles, making riding on small urban streets potentially dangerous.