4:30 PM EST, February 12, 2013
The death of a moped driver last Friday on Dale Avenue raises serious questions about the safety of mopeds.
Talk to almost anyone who sells these bikes and they'll tell you business is good. With more of these out on the road, there's certainly a lot more the average driver needs to keep in mind.
Selling mopeds is a new venture for Tom Nau. Six years ago, recognizing gas was 4-dollars-a-gallon, he opened Long Run Mopeds, and he stands by their safety. Nau builds every moped he sells.
"They're safe so long as you follow the rules, but so is a bicycle, a motorcycle, depending on what you're riding you have to use common sense," said Nau.
When dealing with mopeds you can never be too careful. Keeping a safe following distance, especially when the weather is rainy or windy, is important.
By law, mopeds aren't allowed to go more than 35 miles an hour, they struggle climbing hills and can be tough to see at night.
"They can't stop as fast as a car, they can't take off as fast as a car. So if you're pulling off a traffic light, don't expect a moped to keep up with traffic. Allow some extra room," Nau added.
One of the things about mopeds is that they're not considered motor vehicles, so any old reporter can strap on a helmet, hop on one of these things, and go.
Whether it's an inexperienced driver like me or someone whose license was revoked because of a DUI. Pretty much anyone over 16 can buy a moped.
"Not requiring licenses, registration, insurance has made it a viable business because people that aren't ordinarily allowed to drive are allowed to drive these," Nau said.
On average, these mopeds are just 200 pounds and don't maneuver extraordinarily well. For drivers keeping in mind how vulnerable that makes riders can make the roads safer.
Mopeds cost around 1000 dollars and get almost 100 miles to the gallon. Nau says this is one of the most cost effective ways to get from point A to point B.
But given how busy some intersections are, getting from A to B safely could be a challenge.
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