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Scooter drivers have to obey laws, may need motorcycle license endorsement

Many of the newer scooters easily exceed 30 mph.

September 04, 2013|edited news release from Lisa Cox, public information officer, Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Springfield Police Department is concerned about the increasing number of “scooters” on city streets, and says some people who use them commit traffic violations.  Those violations include exceeding the posted speed limits, failing to signal turning movements, improper lane usage, driving without a license, and driving while intoxicated.

A scooter is defined as a "motorized bicycle" by state law as any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device having an automatic transmission and a motor with a cylinder capacity of not more than 50 cubic centimeters, which produces less than three gross brake horsepower, and cannot have a maximum speed of more than 30 miles per hour on flat ground. 

Police officers see many of the newer scooters that easily exceed 30 mph.  By state law, once the scooter is capable of exceeding 30 mph, it is considered a motorcycle and is subject to all the normal motorcycle rules and regulations, which states the scooter must be registered as a motorcycle (displaying license plates) and the driver must have a motorcycle endorsement on their valid driver’s license.

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Another common misconception of those operating motorized bicycles is the driver is not required to have a valid driver’s license.  Even if the mode of transportation is classified as a motorized bicycle, the operator is still required to have a valid driver’s license when operating the scooter on a public roadway.   Someone who does not have a valid license is not legally allowed to operate a scooter on the public streets and could get a ticket.

The Missouri Department of Revenue’s website has more information about regulations for motorized bicycles and motorcycles.

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