Catch 22 in DC / MD

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mf70
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Joined: 12/01/2006
Points: 707

We live in a town on the edge of the District of Columbia. Recently, my wife was stopped on her XB-600 by a DC policeman, just inside the DC border. He told her that all scooters in DC are required to have a license. His criteria for requiring a license was that the vehicle was equipped with headlights and turn signals.

She showed him her MD driver's license, and told him (correctly) that MD did not require small scooters to be licensed.

He ignored that, and told her that if he caught her in DC on an unlicensed scooter again, she would be liable for a $300.00 fine and arrest.

As an "older" rider, she is now VERY reluctant to risk arrest by going the one block into DC to get to our drug store!

I spoke with a local policeman, but he had no advice to give in dealing with other jurisdictions, other than to get his badge number and complain to the DC City Council (!!). I truly doubt that the DC City Council would be much moved by the problem of a MD resident.

I understand that a lot of scooter riders are free with traffic laws, and that the XB-600 LOOKS like many much bigger scoots. If the stop had been for behavior, I would not have any question about it, but it seems that DC should honor the laws of adjoining states, and it should not be the responsibility of civilian "conscientious objectors" to hold them to that standard.

Thoughts?

Mark

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robert93
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Joined: 08/13/2009
Points: 240
Re: Catch 22 in DC / MD

DC is its own legal entity, and a very nasty place to resolve anything (home of congress). I would check the laws of DC, Motor Vehicle code, and see what it REALLY says, particularly to e-bikes (pedals were on , right?) and small scooters, see if the cop wasnt just bored. State of Va has not only very lax bike laws, but even gas moped laws, so some work may be in order. Instead of the council, I'd start a lil lower first, check with the watch commander over the officer. Sometimes going lower at first is better. That is rediculous that a resident of one state/area gets nailed in another. Get them to cite the specific codes too, since they know them so well, then look for the exceptions that were missed.

PJD
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Points: 1241
Re: Catch 22 in DC / MD

I see a lot of 50cc-class scooters ridden or parked on the streets when I am in DC (engaged in other sorts of nonviolent activities that entail risk of arrest) and I don't recall seeing license plates on any of them.

mf70
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Joined: 12/01/2006
Points: 707
Re: Catch 22 in DC / MD

Yeah, the DC law requiring licencing of all scooters exists, but is honored generally in the breach. Unless, of course, a particular cop has a bad day and threatens older librarians with arrest if they follow their state's law.

The maddening thing is that Maryland explicitly forbids licencing, and this DC cop would not honor the Maryland law for a rider with a Maryland driver's license.

Mark

robert93
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Re: Catch 22 in DC / MD

That is exactly why a universal federal vehicle code would be a good thing, as long as it wasnt written by pinheads. Unfortunately so many states are so dead set against e-bikes, mopeds, anything that doesnt comsume 20 gallons of gas a week, and think people with any vision problem that prevents operating a car should not be near a motor vehicle of any sort...... (eyeroll) Stupidity, Stupidity, thy name is GOVERNMENT!

Derby
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Re: Catch 22 in DC / MD

robert93 wrote:

That is exactly why a universal federal vehicle code would be a good thing, as long as it wasnt written by pinheads. Unfortunately so many states are so dead set against e-bikes, mopeds, anything that doesnt comsume 20 gallons of gas a week, and think people with any vision problem that prevents operating a car should not be near a motor vehicle of any sort...... (eyeroll) Stupidity, Stupidity, thy name is GOVERNMENT!

And the bigger the government, the more stupid it is and the more controlling it is. I'd rather keep as much government as we have to have at as local a level as possible.

__________________

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mf70
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Joined: 12/01/2006
Points: 707
Re: Catch 22 in DC / MD

Update:

Maryland has acted to resolve the issue by issuing title stickers:

My only complaint is that this was enacted with about 30 days between a scant public notice and implementation.

Any thoughts?

Mark

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