EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Lots of Tri-Staters are using mopeds to get around. After all, they're cheaper and fuel efficient. But there's something you should know if you're considering buying one. A little known Evansville City Moped Ordinance is putting some riders in violation of the law.
There is a certain set of criteria that separates a moped from a scooter or motorcycle. The gray area that some moped riders are falling into lies between the state's requirement and the city's.
Under Indiana state law, all you need is a state identification card to operate a moped as long as it meets the following requirements: the motor is 50-cc's or smaller, rated at no more than two horsepower, and its top speed can't exceed 25 miles per hour.
Last month David Bosecker helped his son buy a moped from a private seller to get back and forth to his job until he can get a driver's license. After buying the moped, Bosecker made a trip to the BMV where they told him it didn't require licensing or registration.
Following a string of scooter and moped thefts throughout the city Evansville, police are stopping scooters to make sure they're not stolen. Bosecker's son has been stopped by EPD six times in the past three weeks, and each time officers have run the moped's VIN number.
Bosecker says, "Which was fine. Every time they checked it was not a stolen vehicle or a stolen scooter and they let him go."
But on the seventh and final traffic stop last week Bosecker's son was issued a $25 ticket for not having the moped registered with the city controller's office.
Bosecker says, "I'm trying to teach my kids to trust the system and then the system keeps coming back at them. It's a gray area and it's definitely been a learning experience for me."
At last night's meeting Bosecker asked the City Council to revisit the Mini-Bike Ordinance passed around 1970 to see if they could update it in any way to help clear confusion.
The Evansville Police also met with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor to discuss laws currently on the books surrounding mopeds.
If you do plan to ride a moped within Evansville city limits you need to do the following to register the moped with the city controller's office:
First, the seller must indicate on the bill of sale that the moped's engine is no larger than 50cc, doesn't exceed two horsepower and 25 miles per hour.
Secondly, the new owner must have the VIN inspected and certified by a law enforcement officer, a $5 charge.
Finally, the new owner can take their paperwork to the Evansville City Controller's office and pay a $1 fee to get their moped licensed for use on Evansville city streets.
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