Moped Getaway

A moped user found a great use for their Moped, he or she gave Police the slip at one point lifting the Moped over a metal chain

A moped driver lead Des Moines police on a chase Wednesday, at one point carrying his small motorcycle over a barrier in an effort to escape.

The chase started around 500 E. Army Post Road where an officer tried to pull over the moped for a traffic violation.

The driver didn’t stop and continued east for more than a mile. At S.E. 19th Street the driver cut through a yard and headed north toward Ewing Park.

In the park, the driver got off his moped and lifted it over a metal chain meant to keep vehicles off a trail. He then got back on the bike and fled into a wooded  area.

An officer tried to chase the driver on foot but never found him.

State Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, has been trying without luck for three sessions to pass legislation changing how mopeds are licensed and regulated in Indiana.

The Columbus Republican says there has been an increase in attention to the issue that gives him reason to believe the fourth time’s the charm.

For three sessions, Representative Milo Smith’s moped legislation has passed the House but died in the Senate.

Smith says its failure is due in large part to a philosophy in the General Assembly of less, not more regulation.  But he says leaving mopeds unregulated affects all drivers.

“Someone said to me, ‘The little guy on the moped – if you hit one of them, they’re the one that’s going to get hurt.’  Well I challenge them to say, ‘If you are driving your vehicle on the road and hit someone on a moped and you seriously injure them or take their life, you’re the one that’s going to remember that the rest of your life,’” Smith says.

The bill would require mopeds to be licensed and plated by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which Smith says helps their owners identify them in cases of theft and allows other motorists to identify them if their drivers aren’t obeying traffic laws. Smith says his bill won’t require moped drivers to have a driver’s license

“If someone’s lost their license and can’t get back and forth to work and there’s not public transportation in all communities, this is one way they resort to get back and forth to work.  So I’m not opposed to giving them a second chance,” Smith says.

Smith’s legislation would also set a moped’s speed limit at 25 miles per hour, though he says he’s flexible on increasing that to 30 or 35.

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