Mopeds are popular vehicles for getting around Kansas City. Everyone from college students to senior citizens use mopeds as alternatives to bicycles and motorcycles. The moped, or motorized bicycle, is an ideal in-between vehicle for those who want to save gas without committing to a motorcycle. Under Missouri law, mopeds are legally “vehicles,” just like passenger cars. As such, they come with their own set of rules and regulations operators must follow.
Where Can You Ride Your Moped?
Unlike most other vehicles, you cannot ride a moped on the federal interstate highway system in Missouri or other states. You can, however, ride on other public streets and highways. Mopeds must ride in the same direction as traffic. If driving slower than the posted speed limit or general flow of traffic, stick to the lane as far to the right side of the road as possible. Leave space to maneuver around debris or gutters that may be in this area. You can switch lanes as necessary to make a left turn or to avoid hazards. You cannot ride a moped on sidewalks in Missouri.
Do You Need a License to Ride a Moped in Missouri?
In Missouri, moped operators need a valid driver’s license. According to Missouri law, any two- or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission and maximum speeds of 30 miles per hour are technically “scooters” or “mopeds.” A class M license or class M endorsement is not mandatory for moped operation. Owners do not need to register their mopeds with the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles or the Missouri Department of Revenue. It is not necessary to have vehicle insurance while operating a moped.
Do You Have to Wear a Helmet?
It is not necessary to wear a helmet while operating or riding on a moped in Missouri. While current Missouri laws enforce helmet use for motorcycles, recent legislation has passed to remove these requirements for bikers over the age of 18. Despite the law not mandating helmet usage on mopeds, local initiatives heavily encourage the use of helmets on bicycles and any motorized vehicles. Helmets can significantly lower the risk of serious brain injury and death in moped accidents in Missouri.
What Equipment Does Your Moped Need?
To safely navigate the streets, mopeds must fulfill certain safety, performance, and equipment requirements. Although you do not need to put your moped through inspections, you do need to maintain its equipment to avoid traffic citations from law enforcement. Mopeds must have brakes that can stop the vehicle within 25 feet traveling at 10 miles per hour. They need a white light on the front visible from 500 feet and a red light or reflector on the rear visible from 600 feet. Each side of the moped should have reflective material or lights.
How to Improve Your Safety on a Moped
Missouri’s streets are not always the safest for moped riders. It’s up to you to decrease the risk of accidents and injuries by obeying all traffic rules. Do not ride two abreast with other vehicles, or drive in between two lanes. Always signal your intent to turn, and keep your maneuvers predictable. Stay as visible as possible to other motorists, and yield right-of-way when appropriate. Obey posted speed limit signs, and wear proper personal protection gear to reduce your risk of injury should a collision occur. Obeying Missouri’s moped laws is one of the best ways to increase your safety.
Contact a Kansas City Moped Attorney
If you have fallen victim to an injury not at fault of your own, the Kansas City personal injury attorneys of Dickerson Oxton are here to help. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations via our online form or by phone. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and our law firm specializes in personal injury cases.