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Moped Riders Under 21 Would Have to Start Wearing Helmets Under New Legislation

December 18th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

23 people were killed in moped crashes in Florida during 2015.

Scooter drivers aged 16 and up aren’t required have to wear helmets, but the increased popularity of the vehicles has lawmakers looking to raise the age requirement.

A 2014 journal article by PubMed Central says less that 1 out of 5 riders actually put one on.

Gabriel DeMarco says he’s been in multiple accidents on his scooter, but still chooses not to wear a helmet.

“I know I should do it, but I just kind of don’t want to,” said Demarco.

“I think there’s a peer pressure. You don’t want to look like you’re a geeky guy or girl riding a moped with a helmet on,” said State Senator Keith Perry.

Perry is sponsoring new Legislation that would require moped riders under the age of 21 to wear head protection.

If approved, it will bring helmet laws for the lower speed scooters inline with the current law for motorcycles.

Even though scooters don’t go more than 30 miles an hour, crashes can still be devastating, causing traumatic brain injury or even death.

“It seems like daily we’re having kids who are coeds traveling back and fourth around campus and stuff getting injured,” said Perry.

23 people were killed in moped crashes in Florida during 2015.

Matthew Smith was involved in a motorcycle accident earlier this year. It left his legs and arms scarred.

The accident happened while he was traveling under 30 miles an hour.

He says if it weren’t for the fact he was wearing a helmet at the time, he’d likely be dead.

Smith works at , “All About Scooters,” a scooter shop near FSU.

He says despite always recommending helmets to customers, it’s common for young riders not to wear them.

“We’ve seen a few kids die from not wearing they’re helmets. It’s just a good idea,” said Smith.

If signed into law scooter riders under 21 caught without a helmet will face a fine of up to $108.

The proposal has already passed one Senate committee.

It’s scheduled for hearings in Senate and House committees when Legislators return in January.

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