There have been numerous stories in the news lately regarding the increase in Evansville scooter traffic, and subsequently the number of accidents involving scooters, as more and more people in the Tri-State use the two-wheel vehicles to get themselves around town. While scooter operators are required to obey the same traffic laws as those of us driving a car, truck, van, or SUV, the requirements to operate those vehicles in the first place are much simpler.

Indiana law defines a vehicle as a motorized bicycle or moped only if it meets all of the following specifications:

• It has two or three wheels.

• It is propelled by an engine of no more than two horsepower.

• It has a cylinder capacity of less than 50 cubic centimeters.

• It has an automatic transmission.

• It has a maximum design speed of 25 miles per hour.

Vehicles with engines exceeding these limits are defined as motorcycles, and the rider must hold a motorcycle endorsement or permit.

To operate a motorized bicycle, you must be at least 15 years old and carry a valid Indiana driver’s license or identification card. If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must wear protective headgear and protective glasses, goggles or a transparent face shield. Motorized bicycles may not be operated on interstate highways or at a speed faster than 25 miles per hour.

The Evansville Police Department, in cooperation with Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's Office and the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office, are currently seeking a revision to the law by petitioning state legislators.