Drivers of moped cars to need a license in the future

A moped car.
A moped car. Source: ERR

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is working on draft legislation to require all drivers of moped cars to have a license in the future. The popularity of moped cars seems to be dwindling after they became subject to technical inspection last year.

Estonian roads are currently home to 2,600 registered scooter or moped cars. Kaido Veensalu, executive manager of new vehicles importer Camex Kaubandus, said that most people tend to buy cheap second-hand moped cars in Estonia.

"The relative importance of new cars remains very modest in Estonia. People usually important used vehicles from Europe, which have often been in accidents before they get fixed up on the cheap and sold to customers. Hence the price difference with new vehicles," he explained.

Technical inspection was made mandatory for moped cars last summer, with statistics suggesting around half of registered vehicles of this type having passed.

"The real wrecks have been removed from Estonian roads, vehicles the repairing of which no longer made financial sense," Veensalu suggested.

To drive a moped car, the top speed of which is capped at 45 kilometers per hour, one needs to be at least 14 years of age and have an AM-category driver's license. Veensalu said that moped cars are most popular among young people.

"It is a case in Tallinn of parents buying themselves free time, as they often admit. But the cars are usually bought for youngsters who go to school, sports practice etc. It makes life a lot easier," the car dealer said.

But moped cars are also the choice of people born before 1993 who currently do not need a driver's license to operate such vehicles.

"There is a group of people participating in traffic who might have no relevant knowledge whatsoever. It is dangerous. Statistics also tells us that most accidents involving moped cars are caused by people born before 1993, while 80 percent of them do not have a driver's license of any kind," said Margus Tähepõld, head of the transport and traffic service of the Economy Ministry.

The ministry is working on a bill to abolish the age criterion and require everyone who wants to drive a moped car to have a driver's license.

"We have planned for the law to enter into force next summer, while there will also be a grace period so people would not have to give up driving their moped cars overnight. They will have five years in which to secure a license and keep driving," Tähepõld said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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