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July 7, 2017
DMV, Trauma Surgeon Give Safety Precautions
When Riding Motor Scooters and Mopeds
WETHERSFIELD - The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a trauma surgeon who has treated serious injuries to riders and passengers of motor scooters, also known as mopeds, want to remind those using these vehicles to practice safety on the road as summer brings out more riders who share the road with higher-speed vehicles.  

Connecticut has seen a 12.4 percent increase in crashes involving these scooters from 2015 to last year. In the same time period, fatalities have doubled from one in 2015 to three in 2016 in the state. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which includes scooters in the classification of motorcycles, reports in its most updated analysis an eight-percent increase in motorcycle fatalities when comparing 2014 to 2015.

Motor scooters, known as “motor driven cycles” in state law, are defined as having a low-speed engine size of less than 50 cubic centimeters (cc) and a seat height of at least 26 inches.  Motor scooters can be operated on the road with a valid driver’s license, but are not required to be registered with DMV.

"Motor scooter and motorcycle riding are enjoyable summertime activities, but both can be dangerous as we see from the latest crash data.  Individuals who choose to ride scooters and motorcycles can dramatically lower their risk of death and serious injury by obeying state laws, following common-sense safety rules and always wearing a helmet when they ride,"  said Brendan Campbell, MD, MPH, pediatric surgeon at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and trauma surgeon at Hartford Hospital.

DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra said, “Riding a motor scooter can be a lot of fun, but it also comes with responsibilities and safety precautions. Following the rules of the road and practicing some basic tips can make a difference when it comes to safety, injuries and even death.”

Here are some basic tips for motor scooter riders:
  • Speed and where you ride. If the maximum speed of the scooter is less than the speed limit of the road that you are on, you can operate it in the right hand lane or upon the right shoulder of the road unless making a left turn.  Motor scooters cannot be operated on sidewalks, limited access highways or turnpikes.  
  • Wear a helmet and other protective gear.  A helmet is one of the best items of protective gear you can use.
  • Make sure you’re visible.  Wear reflective clothing, stay out blind spots of vehicles, and use your turn signal.
  • Practice the “SEE” strategy on the road.  Search around you for potential hazards; Evaluate any possible hazards like turning cars or railroad tracks; and Execute the proper action to avoid the hazard.