Fayetteville City Council members are set to discuss a possible new law that would require liability insurance coverage for drivers operating motor scooters within the city limits.
The proposal, brought forth by Alderman Alan Long, would apply to motorized bicycles, motor scooters, and mopeds with automatic transmissions and gasoline powered motors that displace less than 50 cubic centimeters (50cc). State law currently exempts those vehicles from registration fees and insurance requirements.
The new law would not require vehicle registration, but would mean that drivers must carry a valid property liability insurance policy of at least $25,000.
“With the recent increase in the number of gasoline, engine powered mopeds and scooters in Fayetteville, I feel that they should be insured, especially when they are being operated on
city streets,” said Long.
He said when a scooter driver causes an accident which damages other cars or trucks, the drivers who weren’t at fault must file a claim against their own uninsured motorist coverage in order have their vehicle repaired.
Long said he realizes a scooter isn’t likely to cause significant damage to a full-size vehicle in a direct collision. His concern, he said, is the possibility that a motor scooter could cause another driver to hit other vehicles or to swerve off the road and into a ditch.
Calls to local insurance companies indicate a basic liability coverage policy for a motor scooter can cost between $50 and $100 per year, depending on the driving record of the insured motorist. Agents said some local scooter drivers already carry liability insurance, but it’s typically for a college student whose parents are legally responsible for the vehicle.
Council members will discuss the proposal during their next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16 in City Hall room 219, 113 W. Mountain St. in Fayetteville.