Clearing up scooter misconceptions

December 21, 2012

After reading a recent issue of the Cape Gazette, I thought it wise to educate Mr. Burton who provided some very misleading and incorrect statements in his letter to the editor about scooters.

First, a scooter is not a moped, regardless of his assertions. A moped is basically a bicycle with usually a small electric motor, but in every case, a motor of less than 50cc. The difference between a moped and a scooter is determined by the size of the engine. A scooter with a motor of 50cc or larger is prohibited from using the shoulder as a driving lane. Like every other motor vehicle, they should not be in the shoulder except for the allowed 300 feet to facilitate a right turn.

I should add that the vast majority of these recently fashionable scooters are, in fact, 50cc or larger; some are as large as 100cc engines and little has been done as far as law enforcement to educate the drivers. They should not be driving in the shoulder. They should not be parking in bicycle racks nor should they be parking on the boardwalk.

I applaud the green aspect and some accommodations may be in order, but the same case can be made for motorcycles. Should Harley Davidsons be parking in bike racks as well? They are far more fuel efficient than cars. Scooters are closer to small motorcycles than they are to bicycles and should be treated as such.

I realize a lot of people bought scooters to avoid parking fees, but they really should have done a little more research. You want to drive in the shoulder and park in a bike rack? Sell your scooter and buy a moped. A real one.

Bill Livesey
Rehoboth Beach

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