It’s time to register scooters, license riders

To the editor:

The Dec. 6 letter from Al Conant (“How about registration taxes on bicyclists?”) is dead on. We have all encountered mini-scooters in mainstream traffic, causing delays for vehicles. Many of these operators are either ignorant of traffic laws or they just lack the common sense to operate machinery on a thoroughfare.

New Jersey had a similar issue with mopeds years ago and designed a simple solution: All units were charged a $25 registration fee and issued a moped license plate (affixed to the vehicle), and all operators had to take a written test in basic vehicle operations and traffic laws. This type of action would make these vehicles easier to identify in case of an incident, would reduce their theft rate and also help ensure even a modest understanding of sharing the road by the driver.

I also own an OHV I need to register, and a motorcycle for which I pay almost $500 a year to register and $600 a year to insure. While I’m on my bike wearing my helmet and waiting for a light, it’s always a comfort to see one of these a scooter riders pull up with no helmet, no insurance, no registration and no clue of how to ride in the lane next to me.

I don’t, however, believe that a bicyclist falls into this same category and needs to be included in a revenue grab.



To the editor:

In response to Al Conant’s Dec. 6 letter, “How about registration taxes on bicyclists?”:

As taxpayers, we also pay to have sidewalks installed. Maybe we should register everyone’s shoes, rollerskates and the like, and have everyone pay extra taxes on them as well.

I already pay taxes for my two trucks to use the roads, via registration fees and fuel taxes. I don’t need to pay extra for my scooter or my bicycle to use the roads that I have already pitched in for – twice.

As far as Mr. Conant’s obvious disdain on the new OHV registration fees: I hate taxes and fees as much as you do. However, I have to register my personal watercraft, which is also an off-road vehicle of sorts. Plus, I have to pay again to use them on the water at the nearby lakes, and I have to pay (again) to use either of my trucks just to get those watercraft to the water.

Are you really complaining about the annual $20 fee for registering your OHV?



To the editor:

As a scooter rider, I would like to respond to Al Conant’s Dec. 6 letter regarding the registration of scooters. He does have a point. If offroaders are now paying an annual fee of $20, perhaps requiring the scooter riders to pay a similar fee is not unreasonable, especially if you do not own a car.

I do pay registration on two cars, and so I feel entitled to operate my scooter on the roads. Perhaps $10 to $15 a year, a fee that reflects my scooter’s weight and minimal wear and tear on the road, compared to a car. Also, I purchase gasoline for the scooter, so I am paying those taxes.

I personally stay in the slow lane with my scooter, unless I’m using a turn lane. I have no desire to get run over by an impatient driver. Any scooter rider with a brain should acknowledge our vehicles are underpowered and try to show consideration for the other travelers on our crowded roads.

I do not think that bicyclists should pay fees. For one, they are not damaging the road and they are pollution-free.

I do want to point out that while offroad vehicles cannot damage our paved roads, they can cause damage to our deserts that take centuries to heal. All it takes is one inconsiderate offroader. I treasure our desert, especially once you get out of town, and when someone takes a quad off the path, damage is done.



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