Rules of the Road for Electric Scooters & Mopeds
The Kent County Sheriff's Office has seen an increased number of questions regarding the use of electric scooter's and mopeds. Many parents purchase these vehicles for their children without understanding the laws to operate them. There are specific laws that apply to these types of vehicles.
The electric or gas powered "razor scooters" cannot be utilized on the roadway according to State Law. In some areas they may be able to be used on bike paths; however a local ordinance may prohibit that as well. Generally speaking the only place that one of these scooters can be used is in a driveway or an open parking lot.
Mopeds and motorcycles are registered differently under Michigan law. Some retailers may sell what appears to be a moped, but is actually a motorcycle. Michigan law defines a moped as a unit that meets all of the following:
- The engine does not exceed 100 cc's piston displacement,
- The power drive system does not require the operator to shift gears, and
- The top speed is 30 miles per hour or less. If a unit exceeds any of these criteria it is classified as a motorcycle. Motorcycles for on-road use must be sold by a licensed dealership and be titled and registered. Operation of a motorcycle requires insurance, a motorcycle endorsement, and helmet use under certain conditions.
The Michigan Vehicle Code requires all mopeds to have the following equipment:
- A headlight mounted 24 inches to 54 inches from ground height powerful enough to illuminate objects at least 100 feet ahead.
- Brakes on both wheels.
- A horn audible from at least 200 feet away.
- A tail light and break light.
- A muffler(not required for electric powered mopeds).
- A rear view mirror.
- A permanently mounted seat.
- Handlebars no higher than 15" from the lowest point of the seat to the highest point of the hand grips.
Please keep these issues in mind when considering the purchase of one of these items for you children.