In Utah scooters are considered motorcycles. Why they are considered motorcycles will be the topic of another post. What I want to discuss here are the new laws that take effect July 1, 2009. In essence the new laws are:
If you are less than 19 years old and want to get a motorcycle license you will need to either:
get and hold a learners permit for 2 months and, or
take a 2 day motorcycle safety riding class
The bike upon which you test is the size of the motorcycle (scooter) that you will be restricted to being licensed for. The ranges are:
- less than 90 cc
- less than 249 cc
- less than 649 cc
- greater than 650 no restriction
These laws are not retroactive meaning that if you already hold a license you will not need to meet the above requirements and will probably be allowed to simply renew your license. I say “probably” because the language of the law says that “The division may grant a motorcycle endorsement to a person under 19 years of age who has not held a motorcycle learner permit for two months if the person was issued a motorcycle endorsement or a class M license prior to July 1, 2008.”
This bill was passed in the most recent legislative session and can be found on the web titled H. B. (House Bill) 72 named “Motorcycle License and Endorsement Amendments” and were sponsored by Paul A. Neuenschwander and Jon J. Greiner.
This bill is a step in the right direction for a number of reasons but is not without concern. It is a good bill because it requires that young (and therefore probably new) riders get at least some rudimentary education before hitting the road. I do not have at my fingertips the statistics but a very high majority of motorcycle accidents involve riders that are licensed (or riding motorcycles) for less than 2 years. Education is the way to go – I have no doubt about it!
This bill also concerns me because it smacks of unilateral action. Specifically it infringes on the enjoyments that all citizens have a right to enjoy without seeking a reasoned and in depth analysis. At least that is my impression. What's next – requiring everyone to wear a helmet?