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Traffic Tip: Mopeds, motorized scooters have rules of road to follow

By By David Brogger
Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 12, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.


This is the second of a three-part series explaining the rules for operating bicycles, riding scooters, electric wheelchairs, mopeds, etc., on the roadways and how it relates to driving in Victoria.

Last week, we looked at rules for bicycles. This week, we look at mopeds and electric bicycles.

Sec. 551.002. Moped and electric bicycle included. A provision of this subtitle applicable to a bicycle also applies to:

(1) a moped, other than a provision that by its nature cannot apply to a moped; and

(2) an electric bicycle, other than a provision that by its nature cannot apply to an electric bicycle.

Sec. 551.106. Regulation of electric bicycles. (a) The department or an area authority may not prohibit the use of an electric bicycle on a highway that is used primarily by motor vehicles. The department or an area authority may prohibit the use of an electric bicycle on a highway used primarily by pedestrians.

(b) The department shall establish rules for the administration of this section.

Subchapter E. Motor-assisted scooters

Sec. 551.351. Definitions. In this subchapter:

(1) "Motor-assisted scooter:"

(A) means a self-propelled device with:

(i) at least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation;

(ii) a braking system capable of stopping the device under typical operating conditions;

(iii) a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters;

(iv) a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the device and

(v) the ability to be propelled by human power alone and

(B) does not include a pocket bike or a minimotorbike.

(2) "Pocket bike or minimotorbike" means a self-propelled vehicle that is equipped with an electric motor or internal combustion engine having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, is designed to propel itself with not more than two wheels in contact with the ground, has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator, is not designed for use on a highway and is ineligible for a certificate of title under Chapter 501. Sec. 551.352. Operation on roadways or sidewalks. (a) A motor-assisted scooter may be operated only on a street or highway for which the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less. The motor-assisted scooter may cross a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 35 mph.

(b) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a street, highway or sidewalk if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

(c) The department may prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a highway if it determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

(d) A person may operate a motor-assisted scooter on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles or on a sidewalk. Except as otherwise provided by this section, a provision of this title applicable to the operation of a bicycle applies to the operation of a motor-assisted scooter.

(e) A provision of this title applicable to a motor vehicle does not apply to a motor-assisted scooter.

Sec. 551.353. Application of subchapter to pocket bike or minimotorbike. This subchapter may not be construed to authorize the operation of a pocket bike or minimotorbike on any:

(1) highway, road or street;

(2) path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles or

(3) sidewalk.

We decided to discuss these code because many people received new recreational vehicles for Christmas, and it is important for everyone to know the rules of operating.

Next week, we will look at electric wheelchairs, golf carts and other motorized vehicles' laws.

If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Police Officer David Brogger, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.

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