Anyone who has worked in a court that routinely deals with traffic offenses knows the confusion of the terms motorcycle, motor scooter, motorized bicycle, moped, etc. Some were defined by Indiana law and others were just common terms with no legal meaning. Trying to figure out whether a two-wheeled vehicle qualified as a motorized bicycle could be nearly impossible, even after calls were made to the manufacturer, but that definition could be a critical factor in habitual traffic violator cases.
HEA 1343 attempts to clean up some of the confusion. The terms motor scooter as defined by IC 2-5-28.5-1.3 and motorized bicycle as defined by IC 2-5-28.5-1.3 will be repealed as of January 1, 2015. A few new terms have been added, both of which are “motor driven cycles” as defined at IC 9-13-2-104.1. A Class A motor driven cycle will be added at IC 9-13-2-25.8, which means a motor vehicle that: (1) has a seat or saddle for the use of the rider; (2) is designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground; (3) complies with applicable motor vehicle equipment requirements under IC 9-19 and 49 CFR 571; and (4) is registered as a Class A motor driven cycle under IC 9-18. The term does not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.
A Class B motor driven cycle will be added at IC 9-13-2-26.5 and means a motor vehicle that: (1) has a seat or saddle for the use of the rider; (2) is designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground; (3) complies with applicable motor vehicle equipment requirements under IC 9-19 and 49 CFR 571; (4) has a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty (50) cubic centimeters; and (5) is registered as a Class B motor driven cycle under IC 9-18. The term does not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.
Historically, not all mopeds, scooters, etc. were required to be licensed, registered, and/or insured. Under the new statutes, notwithstanding IC 9-18-1-1(a)(7), all motor driven cycles have to be registered if subject to an excise tax and will be operated in Indiana. IC 9-18-2-1(i); IC 9-18-2-29.
Children less than eighteen years of age must wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle or motor driven cycle on streets and highways. IC 9-19-7-1.
A Class B motor driven cycle may not be operated by a: (1) a person who is less than fifteen (15) years of age; (2) a person who has not obtained an identification with a Class B motor cycle endorsement or permit under IC 19-24, an operator’s license, chauffeur’s license, or public passenger chauffeur’s license; (3) on an interstate highway or sidewalk; or at a speed greater than thirty-five (35) miles per hour. IC 9-21-11-12. An individual must have an unexpired identification card for a Class B motor cycle endorsement issued to the individual by the bureau under IC 9-24-16 or a valid driver’s license. IC 9-24-1-5(b); IC 9-24-16-1.5.
An individual must have: (1) a driver’s license or learner’s permit; or (2) a valid operator’s, chauffeur’s, public passenger chauffeur’s, or commercial driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement with a Class A motor driven cycle restriction under IC 9-24-8-4(g); to operate a Class A motor driven cycle upon an Indiana highway. IC 9-24-1-5(c).
Upon all roadways, a motor driven cycle must be driven as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. IC 9-21-8-2(c).
One passenger may be carried on a motorcycle or Class A motor driven cycle, but only on a firmly attached and regular seat designed for passenger use. No passengers may be carried on a Class B motor driven cycle. IC 9-21-10-1.