Photo: Jeremy Seitz (Flickr)
For the fourth consecutive session, lawmakers will attempt to approve legislation regulating mopeds. This session’s effort is the most comprehensive, featuring two bills that legislators will try to combine.
Columbus Republican Representative Milo Smith has authored moped regulation legislation four consecutive sessions – and each time, his bill passed the House but died in the Senate. Over the summer, former Evansville Republican Representative Suzanne Crouch gathered input from a variety of stakeholders and law enforcement officials to create a comprehensive moped bill.
After Crouch’s appointment as State Auditor last month, Warsaw Republican Dave Wolkins took over sponsorship of the bill. He says he doesn’t want to leave Smith’s legislation by the wayside.
“We’re going to take the best of both bills, put them together and move on,” Wolkins said. “And it will probably be under mine because Representative Smith has his hands full right now with other issues.”
The bills are similar in a lot of ways – they both require mopeds to be registered with the state but don’t require moped drivers to have licenses. And both raise the speed limit mopeds are allowed to drive, which is currently 25 miles per hour. But Smith says his bill raises the speed limit more than Wolkins’, which only increases the limit to 35 miles per hour.
“A number of sheriffs have complained to me that if somebody’s driving 25 miles per hour on a state highway,” Smith said. “That’s dangerous and so I’ve increased that up to 45 miles per hour…if, of course, the moped will go that fast.”
Wolkins says he agrees with Smith’s higher speed limit. The Wolkins bill is expected to be heard in a House committee this week.