Lafayette Man Wants Stricter Moped Laws In Indiana

Posted on Jul 20, 2010
After a man’s son was seriously injured in a moped accident in May, his father is working to establish tougher laws in Indiana for moped and scooter riders.

Robert Jewell, a 48-year-old Lafayette man, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury on May 28 when his moped crashed into a minivan. Months before, the man had lost his license because of a drinking and driving charge. But although it was illegal for Jewell to drive a car or a motorcycle, the man was allowed to operate a moped – without getting an operator license and without having to wear a helmet.

Arthur Jewell, the man’s father says that there should be more restrictions for mopeds and other scooters in Indiana since they are motorized vehicles. Currently, there are no helmet laws and no licensing for scooters – anyone over 15 years of age can drive the scooters on Indiana roads. The vehicles, which top out at 25 miles per hour, are considered motorized bicycles.

According to a store in Indianapolis, scooter and moped sales are up considerably, with many teens taking advantage of the lack of regulations, the low prices, and the convenient manner of transportation.

Two recent scooter accidents in Carmel, Indiana, also have police and lawmakers wondering about Indiana scooter laws. A 15-year-old high school freshmen was killed in a collision with a truck, while just hours before and miles away another scooter rider was struck. On the second accident, another teen received a serious head injury while riding a moped.

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James R. Keller
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