Rep. Grohman proposes bill to protect young moped riders

Biddeford legislator responds to community concerns about teens not wearing helmets

Rep. Martin Grohman

AUGUSTA – Rep. Martin Grohman has submitted a bill to require new drivers under the age of 18 to wear helmets while operating a moped, the same standard in place for motorcycles.

“To me, this is a commonsense measure,” said Grohman, D-Biddeford. “There’s no reason that young kids on mopeds are not protected in the same way as young kids on motorcycles.”

Paul Rondeau, a Biddeford police officer, brought the issue to Rep. Grohman’s attention. Under current Maine law, young motorcycle riders must wear helmets while operating their bikes. Because mopeds have smaller engines, they can be operated with just a Class C license. New drivers who have only learned to operate a passenger vehicle are currently able to operate these mopeds with no specific training or safety equipment.

“People don’t see motorcycles like they do cars,” said Rondeau. “It’s just a matter of time before there’s a serious accident involving a young person on a moped without a helmet. To me, it doesn’t make much sense that the laws regarding helmet use on motorcycles have not been extended to mopeds for the newly licensed inexperienced operators.”

Grohman is serving his first term in the Maine House of Representatives. Sitting legislators can submit bills now for consideration by the next legislature, which convenes in December.

Contact:

Ann Kim [Grohman], cell: 233-1838

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