ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 33

Moped riders have it easy, not so the motor cycle riders

It is a pity that the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is unable to distinguish between a moped and a motor cycle. The first bicycle that was power driven came along with a 15CC motor fitted on to the front wheel. The second stage was the autocycle commonly known as the ‘Maduruwa’.

The third stage was the moped which has a heavier frame with a 35-40CC engine with pedals as in a pedal bicycle with two extra foot rests.

The pedals were used for starting the engine and for an emergency to assist the engine on a hill climb. This machine was used mostly by elderly people.

Today the moped has a 49CC engine capacity with all other accessories of a motor-cycle- kick starter, clutch, gears, foot brakes etc. As the pedals give an old fashioned look they have been eliminated. A very cheap mode of transport its initial cost is low. It does more kilometresto a litre, has no registration fee, no insurance cover, no revenue licence and requires no helmet to protect the rider against head injuries in an accident.

The greatest asset is that the third party in case of an accident has no claim as there is no registration or insurance cover to prosecute. The present moped is ridden mostly by youngsters at break neckspeeds bobbing and weaving through traffic over pavements or in any terrain, with even two extra pillion riders. The law-makers believe that the head injuries caused to a rider using a moped at 50-60 kmph is less than to a rider using a 250CC powered machine riding at the same speed. A person using a motor-cycle with a 50CC engine has to obtain an insurance cover, registration, revenue licence and also use a helmet.

The Defence Secretary should take note that the present moped is an ideal vehicle for unidentified gunmen to use as they can even abandon the vehicle with no possibility of identification.

By A Rider, Dehiwela

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.