— The chairman of the Indiana Senate's transportation committee says he
believes a proposal to tighten regulations on motorized scooters could
gain legislative approval.
The House voted
81-14 this week to approve a bill would require scooters to have license
plates and drivers to have a state-issued identification card with a
motor-driven cycle endorsement. To receive the endorsement, the operator
would need to pass a road signs test from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
The bill doesn't
include a requirement that scooter drivers have insurance, as Sen. Thomas
Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, has supported in previous years, but he said the
proposal could help police address concerns with the vehicles.
restrictions in there now that may lessen the problem that I saw in the
past, but more importantly be something that will be responsive to what
Evansville has known for many, many years has been a major problem for
them," Wyss told the Evansville Courier & Press.
The bill is
likely to be assigned to the Homeland Security, Transportation and
Veterans Affairs Committee that Wyss leads, and it could come up for
consideration after the General Assembly resumes its session next week.
improvements, we'll try to make improvements. If not, we'll try to make
sure the legislation does get out," Wyss said.
Sgt. Jason Cullum testified to a House committee that the proposed
requirements will help the department identify owners of scooters and
recover the bikes when they are stolen. The city had comparable numbers of
automobile and scooter thefts last year, Cullum said.
Cullum said the
Police Department supports the legislation as a "step in the right
"We also see
scooters used in a lot of crimes, including drug dealing, robberies and
drive-by shootings," Cullum said. "In several of those cases, we've found
the scooter after the crime happened, but we had no way to locate the
sponsor, Rep. David Wolkins, said if the Senate adds an insurance
requirement, he will attempt to take it out or stop the bill from
R-Warsaw, said he hopes the proposal receives the same reception in the
Senate as it did in the House.
"The fact that we
got everybody involved and everybody on line," Wolkins said. "I think we
have a very good chance to making it happen this year."