New Law Clarifies Motorcycle, Scooter Regulations

A new law in the District clarifies the rules for scooter and motorcycle drivers, replacing an confusing and outdated law that had led to scooter riders in DC getting hit with dozens of tickets.

The new law follows an News4 I-Team investigtion in August 2012.

Ann Goodman told the I-Team that police arrested her twice for riding her scooter without the proper license. According to the law at the time, all scooters - even motorized kiddie bikes - were considered motorcycles, and the driver had to have a motorcycle license.

Barrie Danneker also got ticket after ticket for parking his scooter on the sidewalk, since motorcycles aren't allowed to do that.

After the News4 story, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh promised to introduce a bill to clarify the law.
It passed and the mayor just signed it into law. The new law will be published in this summer’s copy of the D.C. Register.

Here's a breakdown of the new law:

  • Scooters are now called "motor-driven cycles" as long as they go under 30 miles per hour.
  • They can park on sidewalks, outside the Central Business District, if they're not blocking anything.
  • If it goes over 30 miles per hour, it's considered a motorcycle.
  • Motor-driven cycles or motorcycles must be registered, insured and inspected in the District. But only motorcycles require a "motorcycle endorsement" on their license.
  • Both also require a helmet.

To read the new DC law, click here.

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