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Nadeau Bill Addresses Rise of Mopeds

Moped in the 1700 block of P Street, NW, Washington DC on Tuesday evening, 24 October 2017 by Elvert Barnes Photography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, D-Ward 1, joined by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, introduced legislation Monday to address the proliferation of mopeds in D.C. by making sellers and renters of mopeds responsible for registration requirements, similar to the experience of buying or renting a car.

Residents throughout the District have seen a rapid increase in the number of mopeds, many of them used for food delivery. This presents both an opportunity and some challenges – mopeds are better for traffic safety than cars, but without proper oversight, some drivers are flouting rules and creating dangerous situations without accountability.

The Moped Registration Accountability Amendment Act of 2024 would require companies that rent out mopeds to register their vehicle fleet. Companies that sell mopeds would be required to provide written notice of a vehicle’s classification and registration requirements to consumers before selling a vehicle. Registering a vehicle requires proof of insurance. The District’s motor vehicle rental law was written in 1978 and has not been substantively updated since then; motorcycles and moped-like vehicles are currently exempt from that law.

Similar-looking vehicles fall into different classifications, according to District law, which delineates between “motorcycles”, “motor-driven cycles”, and “motorized bicycles” depending on factors like maximum speed and engine size. Each vehicle class has its own rules on registration, insurance, and where they can be operated.

Under Nadeau’s bill, companies that sell mopeds would be required to provide written notice of a vehicle’s classification and registration requirements to consumers before selling a vehicle, and it would forbid the practice of mislabeling vehicles at point-of-sale for the purposes of circumventing legal requirements.  

“We are working to bring some order to the moped food delivery sector and hold sellers, renters, and operators of mopeds accountable,” Nadeau said.

Nadeau is also working to expand oversight by the Department of For-Hire Vehicles to include enforcement of food delivery services, which may be a first for any city in the U.S. The agency is under the oversight of the Committee on Public Works & Operations, which Nadeau chairs.

“Public safety takes many forms and one of them is traffic safety,” Nadeau said. “We have an opportunity to better manage the operation of mopeds that helps entrepreneurs earn a living and all of us – pedestrians, cyclists, automobile drivers, and moped operators – to have safer streets.”

Photo by Elvert Barnes

Related

Councilmember Nadeau sent the following letter to the City Administrator and the Director of the Office of Unified Communications on Tuesday to express her deep concern over the 911 dispatch center's ongoing failure to dispatch assistance where it is needed. She called the failures "alarming and unacceptable."
Traffic safety is public safety. Working together with DPW, we are making it harder to be a dangerous driver in D.C.
Over the past year, my Council colleagues and I have been laser-focused on improving public safety in the District. Every Ward 1 resident deserves to feel safe in their home and their neighborhood. I’d like to provide you with this update on my work in this critical area.

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