Know anyone who rides a scooter? As the prevalence of mopeds, mini-bikes and electric scooters grows on Northern Virginia roadways, all need to learn more about safety issues and laws pertaining to these tiny, potentially dangerous, vehicles, Fairfax County Police said in a news release Thursday.
Officers from the Fairfax County Police Department participated in a new “pilot” course on Thursday aimed at laws and safety issues surrounding mopeds and other two wheeled vehicles. In addition to class room instruction, officers patrolled the streets in search of dangerous and illegal vehicles and violations.
In 2013, there were almost 600 crashes across the state involving these vehicles; and 12 of those were fatal. Recently, there was a tragic fatal crash in Fairfax County involving a 17-year-old boy riding a moped.
While there are no statistics kept by government on the numbers of these vehicles on Fairfax County streets, officers’ note that their presence is swelling, with warm weather and high gas prices, as possible contributors. A new law that went into effect on July 1 mandates that all mopeds must be titled and registered with the Virginia DMV.
Course instructor, MPO Joe Moore stresses that riders should be aware of the type of vehicle that they own; know how many CC's the engine has; look at the seat height, be aware of blind spots, and work on training so that you can be a safe rider. Since there are no specific drivers training required for these vehicles, the ultimate responsibility of safe driving rests with the rider themselves. Decades ago, these vehicles were used as fun or sport; now, many are relying upon them for commuting purposes and driving long distances on busy roadways.