indiana moped law. help!

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by eltatertoto, May 4, 2008.

  1. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    ok. not 10 minutes agao, i am taking my friend home on the pegs (thats illigal on bikes even, but thats beside the point.) but i am riding home (for locals) on north lake park ave, turning into the neighbor hood ( i am enclosing my route in pic form) and i am riding mabey 15 if im lucky, a cop pulls me over by saying (not in the most pleasnt tone either)

    1st off, once i see that motor, that makes it a vehicle DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!?


    2nd, i see no turn signals, wich makes it illegal. DOU YOU UNDERSTAND?!?

    yes, officer

    3rd you were driving on a VERY busy road



    yes officer

    4th, you do not have a lighting array, wich also makes it illegal DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!?


    if i seee you riding that thing again, you will be getting a 130 dollar ticket, and possibly it will be impounded.

    can i peddel home?

    yes, but i better not catch you not peddeling!!

    (the whole ride home he was passing me on the cross streets...)

    now i will post the law here.

    Moped Definition
    A moped, or "Motorized bicycle," is a two (2) or three (3) wheeled vehicle, that is propelled by an internal combustion engine or a battery powered motor. If it is powered by a motor, the engine have less than two horsepower, a cyclinder capacity less than 50c.c., an automatic transmission, and a maximum speed less than 25mph on a flat surface. Electric mopeds are only required to travel less than 25mph on a flat surface.

    Moped Licensing Information
    Moped operators must be atleast fifteen years old, and they must possess a Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) issued license or identifaction card. No motorcycle license is required to operate a moped.

    Everyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet and eye protection while riding on a moped. The protective headgear that is worn must meet the requirements set by the USDOT. The protective eyewear required can be a pair of protective glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield. All operators under the age of 18 who ride on motorcycles must also wear a helmet and eye protection.

    Mopeds cannot be operated on sidewalks or Interstate highways.


    Mopeds are also required to abide by the following laws regarding the operation of vehicles on public land:

    Brakes are required that are capable of producing deceleration at 14 feet per second on level ground at a speed of 20 miles per hour.
    Vehicles cannot be used to hunt, kill, or pursue a wild bird or any wild or domestic animal

    An individual shall not operate a vehicle 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise without having a lighted headlight and taillight

    An individual shall not operate a vehicle unless the vehicle has a muffler in good working condition and in continual operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.

    A person who violates these statues commits a Class C Infraction or a Class B Misdemeanor.

    i copied the whole law. nothing more, nothing less. here is a link to the law.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2008

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear it. I'm no authority on this stuff, but you've stumbled into the "gotcha" situation that most of us have to gamble with; namely that, even though these are not mopeds, the determination by an individual law enforcement dude that it IS a moped will get you into a terrible headache. Had he written you a ticket you could have challenged it and argued before the judge that this is nothing but a bicycle. And you might have even won. But who would want to take a chance like that?

    We dont' know each other. But within this forum we're friends, right?
    So I'll speak plainly: riding a friend on the bike was about the dumbest thing you could do. (Well, running over a child or a little old lady would be worse, but maybe not by much.)
    I'd bet $50.00 that that was the thing that enraged that cop. And you'll be lucky if your city doesn't consider legislation on the matter. Maybe not. Maybe they have bigger fish to fry. But, once again, who wants to take that chance?

    You must never, never, never do such a thing again. (I'm sure you know that I don't mean that as some kind of order. I mean it as (serious) advice.

    Other than that, I don't know what to advise. One possibility (though this is gonna hurt) is to put that bike in the garage for a fairly long while. Just ride a pedal bike. And when you bring the motor assisted bicycle back out you'll want to make a big show of the "new, safe, eltatertoto". Lot's of safety equipment and a "boy scout" type attitude in traffic.

    I really am sorry. But you'd better play what cards you have very carefully if you don't want the law on your back everytime you hop on your bike.

    Best of luck.
  3. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    yes, i know it was dumb. but it was sorta an emegerncy, and my ma wasnt home. at this point, i am thinking of just selling them (that makes me gag a little) and just riding the moped, that my ma said ill have when i turn 15 (old promise) but i really dont think i can go 2 months. i really gotta sit here and think, though. i THOUGHT i did everything right other than tote a friend........
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    a quick note; when he said "once I see that motor, that makes it a vehicle" he was (I'm sure) going too far. but even that won't help you; if you were to argue it, perhaps in front of a judge, he still would have a good chance of winning. And you have more to lose than he does. It's a bummer.

    Maybe high gas prices will help make these things clearly legitimate. But that's going to take a while.
  5. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    and to think- just this morning i invite somone to the site. 1 joins. one is forced to leave..... (not the site ofcourse)
  6. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I'd hate to see you sell the motor assisted bicyles; you've made a bunch of valuable contributions to this forum. And we really do need you and everyone to ride and ride and ride.

    Two months will go more quickly than you think. Then you can get the moped all legal for yourself. And then you can (slowly and carefully) bring the bikes out of hiding.

    Please don't sell!
  7. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    something else comes to mind; that cop will remember you. At least he will if he's a city policeman. Maybe a county sheriff's deputy will spend a lot of time in other places, but a city cop will be around.

    that means that you'd better be a boy scout even when you're legal on that moped.

    But (please take my word for it) that'll turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Yes, the cop only messed with you because you were hauling your friend around, too. Some states explicitly outlaw that, while yours doesn't. The cop was only looking out for your safety.

    From the looks of it, he was only trying to scare you. The law is on your side. He could write you a ticket all you want, but you'd have to go to court twice just to fight it. I highly doubt a judge would interpret the law any other way than you have.

    I think cops really are trying to help sometimes, and this was one of those times.

    As long as this checklist is followed, you prolly won't have any trouble from cops:

    1) Pedal & chain to assist and make it home for whatever reason
    2) Helmet
    3) Lights
    4) One person only
    5) Follow speed limit.
  9. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    If my state had the laws you had, I'd keep a copy of it with me at all times & smile at every cop I come across.
  10. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    well, unless when i call the poliece station monday, they say somthing else, im putting them in storage. so i wont be selling, but i will not be riding them. wich really bumms me out. and not to be a an as s but i do know that was stupid riding a friend, but i realise it, it doesnt have to be rubbed in my face. i will finish by saying, that i really hope i can ride again, but sadly, if i cant ride, you might not see as much of me here.
    im going out to drain the tanks, and let the bikes burn whats in the carb.

  11. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I don't mean to be rubbing your nose in it. In fact, what I'm trying to do is leave a warning for other youngsters (or not-so-youngsters) who might read this thread in the future. Maybe they can learn from your mistake and mis-fortune. For that matter, I'm gonna keep it in mind myself.

    And Sparky is absolutely correct when he points out that the cop was looking out for your safety. He wasn't being pure evil. If your friend's foot had slipped off the pegs, he might have fallen right into the path of a car. (Not likely? You're probably right. But it's a chance that one shouldn't take anyway.)
    You might have fallen into the path of a car, too. And what if it didn't kill you?
    What if it left you paralyzed and maimed for life?
    And what about the cager who goes on to live with the knowledge that he ran over a couple of people. I haven't come up with the proof, yet, that the cagers are 100% pure evil, so we have to give him the benefit of the doubt and figure he'd feel pretty bad about it.

    So, in that sense, the cop was right.

    Once again, this is more for the record than for you. You've already thought of these things, I'll bet.

    And I meant it when I said that your posts have been good. I've seen some interesting stuff from you. So stick around. Be bummed out for a while. I doubt if you can avoid that. But come back with your bikes. And maybe this will help you gain some of that motor-assisted-bicycle-wisdom sooner than the rest of us.
  12. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    All I can say is that you are right on the law. Policemen are not lawyers. They are taught the law, but they have not memorized all of it. Heck, I haven't memorized all of it- no one has. That being said- simply being ticketed can cause problems even if you can successfully defend against it- you may have trouble with the 2hp issue.

    I think the best thing is to ride smart, stay away from busy streets and try not to be noticed.

    I hate to say it, but the same officer may not have even bothered with me, not only because I would never have a second person, but because I'm 37 years old- call it discrimination if you want, but 37 year old guys don't draw police attention like teenagers.
  13. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    well, thanks for all the input, espically houghmade, (being a local)+lawyer i drained the gas from both bikes, threw away the yellow bike from the what is this vids, and replaced it with the blue bike. at my grandmas about 10-15 mi away, in portage. pending the reply from the cops, the stingray is going to my other grandparents, in hobart, and im taking the chinese engine off, and using the new schwinn as my ride to school. thanks for all yr guys' help.
  14. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    I always try to follow all laws just because i want to be respectful of the legality of these things. I have never had a cop question my bike, but if they started to pester me, I think I would grab a DMV handbook and pull that out anytime they pestered me. You can't give up just because of one bent cop.
  15. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    yes, but to tell ya the truth (i think alot of the guys here will agree) id prefer it sit in a garage, then have it impounded sitting out in the rain, getting all rusty and nasty, and possibly ridden.
  16. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    oh, and to ride like a boyscout thing, other than tote a friend that ONE time, i have been . i always signal, stop for lights, full complete stops, get to the far right, and signal a car to pass me, the works. and i NEVER rode past dusk. not even once.
  17. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Have I offended you? Sorry, but that's not what I was trying to do. You asked "what should I do?" and this is what I had to offer. If I think of anything else, I'll offer that. It will always be meant to help, not to insult.

    Here's a scenario that might be good for us all to consider;

    you're pulled over by a cop who says, "That is an unregistered and illegal moped." we say, "No. I believe you're mistaken. This is merely a bicycle."
    The cop says, "Here's your citation."

    We think, "Nope. I'm fighting this one."

    We go before a judge and argue that this is nothing more than a bicycle.
    Maybe he agrees. But maybe he says, "No. That is a moped. You must register it as such."

    Our answer is, "But the secretary of state simply won't register this bike."

    And his answer is, "Then this is a motor vehicle that is not suited for use on a public road."

    At this point we're done for. At least until we get out of that jurisdiction or talk our city council (or perhaps state legislature) into passing a law that expressly permits these bikes on the road.

    Is this far-fetched? If the answer is yes, I'd be glad to know it.
    But it seems like a real possibility to me. And one to be feared.
  18. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    no offence taken, if i said it as such, im sorry. im just kinda frusterated right now...
  19. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Being frustrated is understandable. When I think of anyone (even cops, who I mostly like and respect) pointing at you or me or anyone here and saying,

    "You can't do that!"

    it really sticks in my craw.

    And maybe I'm over-pessimistic; maybe there aren't as many people as I think who are just looking for that chance to stick it to us.

    I've mentioned (perhaps others have, too) that I think high fuel prices will force society to accept things like motor assisted bicycles. But it's not a done deal yet. I wish I could figure out a way to cram it down their throats.
    (That might have sounded angry. Not what I meant. Was almost a joke :)
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  20. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I can understand the frustration.

    But, since you've been operating 'outside' the law, before you're able to get a license to operate a moped, you're in the wrong, no matter what. Suppose you pulled out a copy of the statute and educated him, he could then have ticketed you for underage operation of a moped.

    Ideally, Indiana would pass legislation allowing motorized bicycles to be operated without license/registration. However, many of the states which allow motorized bikes to run without insurance & registration have a minimum operator age, typically, 15 years old.