New law for scooters, mopeds takes effect

COLUMBIA, Md. - New state vehicle laws went into effect Monday requiring all motor scooters and mopeds to be titled and insured, according to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The law also requires all operators and passengers to wear a helmet and eye protection.

These new requirements are in addition to the existing law that requires all motor scooters and moped operators to possess a valid driver's license or a moped operator's permit.

Under the new law, all drivers and passengers of motor scooters and mopeds will be required to wear motorcycle helmets that meet safety standards set by the United States Department of Transportation. Drivers and passengers must also wear eye protection, unless the vehicle is equipped with a windscreen.

In addition, motor scooter and moped owners will be required to insure their vehicles. They must obtain at least the minimum vehicle liability insurance and must carry proof of the insurance with them whenever they are operating the scooter or moped.

Howard County police will allow a one-month written warning period for the motor scooter registration and equipment violations. Citations may be issued starting next month.

Failure to comply may result in traffic citations that carry these penalties: No helmet- $110 fine; No eye protection or windscreen - $110 fine; no insurance- $290 fine; and no title decal displayed - $70 fine.

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