Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Wednesday, September 21, 2011
(INDIANAPOLIS) - State lawmakers heard an earful Tuesday afternoon about the benefits and hazards of unlicensed drivers getting on the roads on small scooters and mopeds.
A loophole in the current law allows even those with lifetime suspensions to keep driving, often impaired, and putting everyone at risk.
Weeks after Indiana lawmakers announced they would conduct a study committee on this important safety issue, a 42-year-old scooter driver was killed in Fulton County. He was a suspended driver. The coroner's report says he had a high volume of drugs in his system. His widow says he was high on methamphetamine.
Indiana State Police found the body of Ronnie Jackson just feet from a telephone pole two days after he was ejected from his 50-cc moped. He's the latest in a string of impaired drivers getting back on the road despite having a suspended license.
Right now in Indiana, suspended drivers can get on these vehicles and go with no license or insurance required. If you get into an accident with one, you're stuck with the bill.
The scooter industry admits there is a problem but says law-abiding citizens who want a more fuel efficient mode of transportation shouldn't be penalized with fees and insurance.
Lawmakers are exploring titles and insurance to make it easier for police to track small mopeds or scooters. They also hope the insurance requirement will make it harder for suspended drivers to ride while ensuring parents of 15-year-olds who ride will take some financial responsibility.
The BMV says the extra fees would generate about $78,000 in state revenue.
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