Government planning to tighten moped driving requirements

Moped car.
Moped car. Source: Alex Satola/Wikimedia Commons

Mopeds are becoming increasingly popular in Estonia and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Riigikogu's Economic Committee believe the existing rules need strengthening.

A moped has a top speed of 45 km/h, a steering wheel, gear stick and a brake.

Anyone over the age of 14 can obtain a moped license, but according to the Traffic Act a driver born before 1993 does not need a license to use one.

Statistics show younger drivers have fewer accidents than old people and that 80 percent are related to older people who do not hold a license.

Tarmo Tähepõld, editor-in-chief of motoring website Autogenius, told Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) the rule is fine if it only needed to apply to "a normal, functioning member of society".

"[But] Maybe they are a bit older, they don't go to get [drivers] permits anymore, but they need to get to the shop in a rural area. On the positive side, the moped itself is not a bad thing. It's just that because it's been a complete wild west in Estonia so far, then of course a way will be found to exploit it," he said.

The ministry wants the law to specify requirements for driving an AM category vehicle, a two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle. This would involve taking driving lessons and a test.

"If this were to happen, we would also give quite a long transition period to apply for that driving license," said Margus Tähepõld, head of the transport and traffic department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Riigikogu's Economic Committee also thinks the existing laws should be reviewed. Chairman Kristen Michal (Reform) said the main question is how the current situation applies to the existing laws.

"Is it the case that if someone's driving license is suspended, if they have their license taken away for drink driving, that they can smoothly get into a moped, which is not much different from a car these days," he told AK.

It is currently required to service a moped once a year.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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