A moped can be the ideal way to get around for someone who doesn’t want to operate a standard passenger vehicle but needs something faster than a bicycle. Before you take a moped out for a spin in Connecticut, however, you must understand all of the state’s related laws. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a fine from a law enforcement officer in your city, or suffering from an injury. Here’s what you need to know.
A moped falls under the category of a “motor driven cycle” in Connecticut. This is defined as a moped, motor scooter or motorbike with an engine size of less than 50 cubic centimeters and a seat with a height of at least 26 inches. Cubic centimeters, or ccs, annotate the actual size of an engine and its power output. Mopeds and other motor driven cycles are permitted on Connecticut roads, but mini-motorcycles or pocket bikes are not. These are vehicles with seat heights that are less than 26 inches. Mini-motorcycles are prohibited from use on any road or sidewalk in Connecticut and cannot be registered in the state.
An individual must obtain a valid motor vehicle operator’s license to drive a moped in Connecticut. This is done by completing the required driver’s education training and spending a certain amount of time operating with a learner’s permit, as well as passing a written and driving test. The minimum age to apply for a driver’s license in Connecticut is 16 years old. It is illegal to operate a moped in Connecticut without a valid driver’s license or under the age of 16. It is not necessary to obtain an M endorsement on the license, as it is to operate a motorcycle.
No. You do not need to register a moped, motor scooter or another type of motor driven cycle before operating it on a public road in Connecticut. If your moped has an engine displacement of more than 50 ccs, however, you may need to register the vehicle and display a license. It is important to know whether your vehicle is classified as a moped or motorcycle in Connecticut to determine if it needs to be registered.
State law says that mopeds must not be operated on any sidewalks, limited access highways or turnpikes in Connecticut. It can be driven on any other type of public road, however, unless a local municipality has rules that state otherwise. If the maximum speed of your moped is less than the speed limit of the road that you are traveling on, you must remain as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible, taking up the rightmost lane that is available for traffic or using a shoulder on the right side of the road. The only exceptions are if you are making a left turn or need to exit the right side to avoid a hazard.
Moped drivers have all of the same rights and responsibilities as general motor vehicle drivers in Connecticut. They must obey the same traffic laws and roadway signs, including stoplights, stop signs and speed limits. They must also yield the right-of-way to other road users, when necessary. A moped cannot carry a passenger unless it has been specifically designed to do so, with two seats and two footrests. It is the moped owner’s responsibility to properly maintain the vehicle and ensure its roadworthiness at all times in order to prevent accidents and other injuries.
Currently, state laws in Connecticut only require helmet use on mopeds for those who are under the age of 18. Helmets are not required for adult moped riders or adult passengers, but they are required for operators who are 16 or 17 years old. In addition, if a rider is operating a moped on a learner’s or instructional permit, regardless of age, he or she must wear a helmet.
If you get injured in a moped accident in Connecticut, contact a traffic accident attorney right away for a free consultation about your legal rights and options.