The Maryland MVA has announced a new Motor Scooter Law requiring titles, insurance, and a helmet and eye protection, in addition to existing laws that require a drivers license or moped permit.
Maryland has famously been very liberal regarding scooter operation, this law brings their requirements in line with most other states, but it’s interesting to see the word “Motor Scooter” used by a government license bureau. Most states differentiate between mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters in their laws, but use hazy and arcane terms like “motor-driven cycle” and “motorized pedalcycle.” Perhaps “motor scooter” still leaves room for interpretation (I haven’t seen the exact wording of the law) but it’s nice to see that terminology thrown around for once. Even if Maryland riders are not likely thrilled about the law, they can say “motorscooter” at the MVA and maybe not get a blank stare.
Minnesota House Bill 2685 includes a section about who is allowed to stop traffic for large motorcycle rides. We’ve all been on big rides where there are blockers stopping traffic along the way so that the group can stay together, and I’m always amazed there aren’t more instances of road rage and/or tickets being handed out. I would assume that this is illegal and most police officers look the other way. The new bill requires that those stopping traffic hold a Motorcycle Road Guard Certificate, plus jump through a few more hoops. Granted this is all a good idea to keep the rides safe but I wonder how many will actually go through all the trouble? And will you have to wear a safety vest and carry a fake plastic badge?
House Bill 2685
Section 27 (S.F. No. 1719, Sen. Hoffman) allows a person who meets the
following five requirements to stop vehicles and hold them in place
until it is safe to proceed:
Hold a motorcycle road guard certificate;
Meet safety and equipment standards;
Be escorting a motorcycle group ride;
Notify all cities through which the group will pass; and
Obtain the consent of the chief of police of any city of the first
class through which the group will pass.
The motorcycle road guard may direct motorcycles within a group ride
or other vehicle traffic to act contrary to traffic control signals.
A vehicle stopped by a motorcycle road guard may proceed only when
directed by the flagger or police officer. This section is effective
one year after publication of rules in the State Register.
Scooter-Infos reports new French President François Hollande (who is incidentally about a mile and a half away from me at the moment) has been forced to leave his scooter behind for the sake of security. We all know the only thing more dangerous than BMW-riding assassins in black leather is moms in minivans pulling out of the Starbucks drive-thru on their way to soccer practice.
Everyone and his mom is linking to a pretty dumb Jalopnik “story” about a confrontation between a motorcyclist and a car. I hate to even link it again, I generally enjoy Jalopnik, and this story has its funny moments, but it’s totally off the mark and irresponsible as a commentary on safe riding, and I hate to think any of my riding friends actually emphasize with this wound-up, entitled jagbag. Continue reading ““What Goes Through A Biker’s Head””
The women behind Go Go Gear will be appearing Friday night (March 23, 2012) on ABC’s Shark Tank. ScooterGirls, Inc. out in L.A. make safe AND fashionable (at the same time!) women’s (and men’s) riding gear and we can’t imagine the investors on the show won’t jump at the chance to get involved in their plans for world domination.
I generally run screaming from “reality TV,” but Shark Tank is a fun, well-done show, and I’ve been hooked on it since friend-of-a-friend Steve Gadlin talked Mark Cuban into investing $25,000 towards his internet-based cat-drawing business. Things are looking great for Steve, and we hope Arlene and her cohorts can score an equally attractive deal. The 2SB HQ Tivo is set and fingers are crossed, ladies!
It’s that time of year again. Time to figure out why your scooter doesn’t start. Time to start harassing scooter shops for being out of parts you knew you needed for the last six months. And it’s time to start cutting fingers, smashing knuckles and otherwise breaking the wonderful barrier between your insides and the outside world.
Modern or vintage, metal or plastic covered, your scooter probably has a rusty screw somewhere, ready to strike. There is a small risk of great consequence related to these sorts of events. Check with your personal physician to see if you are up to date on your Tetanus vaccination. (Who has a personal physician?!) If you are one of the millions of people in this wealthy land of ours without health care coverage, it may be a wise investment to pop on down to your local CVS and get protected.
Just wanted to remind you that scootsafely.com continues to kick ass, posting long, well-researched, must-read posts, far more frequently than our scattershot sentence or two of blather here. If you’re not RSSing it and watching for new posts, get on it. We’ve been around the block and seen a lot of scooter sites come and go, and if history is any indication, the sites that burn the brightest burn the quickest, so here’s hoping Alan doesn’t burn out and keeps his great site going.
One of the most super-helpful pages on the internet, SCOMO’s table of vintage scooter cable lengths.. Most cables you buy these days aren’t the right length, Confirming and adjusting the lengths can save big headaches and make your scooter work more smoothly.
I’m not posting this drunk Zamboni driver story because it’s funny, nor because 2/3 of our staff are from Minnesota, but because of a paragraph tucked away at the bottom of the story:
…just because Bruss was driving a Zamboni on an empty ice rink and not a car on a busy road doesn’t lessen his coming punishment. [Minnesota] State law allows a DWI to be given for any sort of motorized vehicle, including a lawn mower or forklift.
I might be dense, but I was unaware it’s possible to be arrested for drunk driving at a private event on private property. Many of us, self surely included, have been guilty of some pretty stupid hi-jinks at scooter rallies over the years, and we’ve always hopefully taken our/others’ safety and property into account, but I suspect most of us have been unaware we could get a life-crushing felony DUI in Fresno for riding 500 feet across a farm or campground to visit the bathroom. Rules vary from state to state, but a little Googling shows that this law is pretty widespread. Scooterists have, in general, become far more responsible in recent years, but there are still a few rallies where anything goes, so it’s worth keeping this in mind.
Not quite scooter-related, and maybe a little crazy, but ultimately, a worthy quest: Check out Jalopnik’s campaign to ban the confusing “Check Engine” light and replace it with useful onboard diagnostics.
Libertarians, complain away, but it doesn’t make sense to have a computer, a million sensors and a text display (if not a video display) in your car, then hide the results from the consumer.
If you’ve ever paid a mechanic $90 to tell you that your gas cap wasn’t screwed in tightly enough, sign the petition before February 16.