Locals rage about scooters and mopeds, want more regulation

Posted at 7:07 PM, Mar 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-19 19:07:29-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- There is a case of moped and scooter frustration going around Central Virginia.

"Mopeds impede traffic," Thom Suddeth, a Richmond driver, said.

"They are dangerous. They fall off of them, half of them don't wear helmets," Sharon Proffitt, another driver, told CBS 6.

Since 2008, Scoot Richmond, a seller of mopeds and scooters, estimates over 2,000 new rides have hit the roads of Richmond. Of course, driving the phenomenon is the 100 miles per gallon of gas incentive.

A lot of traditional drivers have asked for tougher regulations. During this past session of the General Assembly lawmakers listened, passing new regulations that require moped riders to register and title their scooter and moped.

But some say those regulations do not go far enough and believe that mopeds should be banned from parking on sidewalks and from roads where speed limits are more than 40 m.p.h.

"It is very frustrating," Chelsea Lahmers, owner of Scoot Richmond, told CBS 6.

Lahmers supports the new regulations passed by the General Assembly because she believes it will help crack down on scooter theft. Previously, because registration and titling were not required, thieves could easily steal mopeds and scooters.

But the idea of new regulations are upsetting scooter enthusiasts.

"Once you start making roads just for cars it can be a slippery slope, very quickly," Lahmers said.

Still the moped/scooter debate with traditional drivers doesn't appear to be going away any time soon. As gas prices increase, so to does interest in the alternative forms of transportation.

"I would love any of those folks to come to Richmond and ride around with me on a moped for a day," Lahmers said.