‘Drivers are flouting rules’: Bill before DC Council aims to address rise in moped use

Mopeds lined up on a street corner in D.C. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

A new bill introduced before the D.C. Council on Monday would address the rise in moped use in the city by implementing point-of-sale regulations regarding registration.

Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau introduced the Motorized Vehicle Registration Accountability Amendment Act of 2024 alongside Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen.

“Residents throughout the District have seen a rapid increase in the number of mopeds, many of them used for food delivery. This presents both an opportunity and some challenges — mopeds are better for the environment and for traffic safety than cars, but without proper oversight, some drivers are flouting rules and creating dangerous situations without accountability,” Nadeau’s office said in a news release.

The bill would require companies that rent out mopeds to register their fleet. Companies that sell mopeds would be required to provide written notice of a vehicle’s classification and registration requirements with the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles to potential buyers before selling a vehicle.

According to D.C. law, similar looking vehicles fall into different classifications, such as motorcycles, motor-driven cycles and motorized bicycles, depending on factors including maximum speed and engine size.

Each vehicle class has its own rules on registration, insurance and where they can be operated, and according to Nadeau’s office, her bill would also forbid the practice of mislabeling vehicles at the point of sale in order to circumvent legal requirements.

“We are working to bring some order to the moped food delivery industry and hold sellers, renters, and operators of mopeds accountable,” Nadeau said in the news release.

She also told WTOP she hopes the bill can make it easier for consumers to purchase the vehicles while complying with the law.

“The goal here is to make it more like the car buying experience, where the dealership puts in your paperwork with the DMV and then you wait for it to come in the mail and not drive off the lot with your vehicle unregistered,” Nadeau said.

She added, “This is about registering the vehicle with the DMV, which is already legally required, but it’s hard for us to enforce after the fact. And so getting at that point of sale is really important for broader implementation and broader enforcement.”

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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