Side-by-side mo-peds

Matthew of Grand Haven asked, “I see many teens and young adults riding two at a time on mo-peds around town. I thought that was illegal?"
Mark Brooky
Jul 25, 2014


Matthew continued: "If so, why isn't the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety doing more to stop this dangerous trend? I would also urge parents to help stop this dangerous practice as well.


Riding two abreast on motorized vehicles is indeed a moving violation, and Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said his department encourages compliance with all traffic laws through education and enforcement. 

“Both warnings and citations are issued frequently,” he insists. “Officers are aware of safety concerns and take appropriate action when presented with violations.”

Hawke also passed along this information about state law concerning mo-peds:

“A mo-ped is defined as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with an engine of 100 cc's or less (or) producing 1500 watts or less, if electric. The power drive system can't require shifting gears and top speed can't exceed 30 mph. If any of these standards are exceeded, it's considered a motorcycle. Motorcycles require a cycle endorsement and insurance.

“Operating a mo-ped:
• Requires a valid driver's license.
• If the driver does not have a valid driver's license and is over 15 years of age, a mo-ped license may be obtained from the Michigan Secretary of State.
• If the driver is under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must sign the mo-ped license application.
• Mo-ped operators under 19 years of age must wear a helmet.
• Mo-peds are not allowed on freeways, between lanes of traffic, on sidewalks, or bike paths.
• One person allowed at a time, no passengers.”

By the way, the Tribune spells mo-ped with a hyphen, per Associated Press style. Without a hyphen spells the past tense of mope (“to be gloomy or dejected; to brood or sulk; to move in an aimless manner; dawdle” — The American Heritage Dictionary).

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Still, those are scooters in the photo.


I would like clarification on electric bicycles on the area 'bike' paths and sidewalks... They are oftentimes flying down the paths at 30+ mph without pedaling. I have noticed several from a local rental company downtown.

Are these actually legal on sidewalks and 'bike' paths since they are technically a motorized vehicle? If not, why are the laws never enforced?


I would like to see a cop run after those dude,s on motorized bicycle down bike path,s and give them a ticket, that would be fun

CandO Steve

How about scooters on the boardwalk...No that's probably not a good idea, you might get run over with a skateboard or bike.

Grand Haven Happy

Mark Brooky,

A little info for you from the State of Michigan Legislature passed laws for Mopeds. Copied and pasted:

MCL 257.32b “Moped” defined. “Moped” means a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle which is equipped with a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, produces 2.0 brake horsepower or less, and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface. The power drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.

It's 50 CC's max not 100 CC's. A 100 CC engined moped would easily do 55-60 mph on a flat surface. We had a pair of Suzuki 90 CC cycles years ago and they would go 60-63 mph on a flat road.

Grand Haven Happy


It's very confusing because back in 1949 the moped definition code law 257.32B was 100 CC max. I'm wondering if there are 2 laws actually on the books. Sure wouldn't surprise me! We have had various pairs of registered mopeds since 1964 and every one has been 49 or 50 CC's. Just sold 2 of them 7/22/2014 and the State of Michigan registration said "Moped" on it.

At over 72 years old we think we're too old to ride them anymore around town or when RV'ing (what they were bought for). Never used to be drivers with cellphones cemented to their ears and not paying attention to their driving or jerks texting while driving like now and drugs were very rare. Scarey!


World population 1950 = 2,560,000,000 people
World population 2012 = 7,000,000,000 people

and kids are still kids, what are you going to do?
Arrest all the kids, because it generates revenue for the ultra-conservative city government or:
shoot all of us old fuds because it's too hard to keep us safe with all these crazy kids running around?
You tell me. :o)


The CIA is working furiously to decrease world population by introducing AIDS EBOLA CRACK COCAINE. I agree with pocodot.............shoot anyone who uses the term 'fuds' and arrest all kids with black fingernails.


In driver's ed we were taught that motorcycles could be driven side by side but not bicycles. The rationale was that motorcycles (and their pilots) were typically more capable of keeping up with traffic speeds and bicycles more capable of holding up traffic or needing to be passed. This made sense to me but maybe it was wrong, and I do not remember mopeds or scooters getting mentioned.

What are the specific laws on the books for these behaviors? I didn't see them cited in the article.


Bicycles can ride two abreast (but not more) except for in a bike lane or bicycle-specific infrastructure.

Grand Haven Happy

Motorcycles are regitered, licensed, and insurance mandated motor vehicles just like cars and trucks and are a legal vehicle anywhere on their lane of travel. The larger motorized vehicles are not nimble to maneuver like pedal bikes are. Bicycles registered or licensed or have mandated insurance for vehicle roadway travel and cause extreme danger mainly to themselves when riding side by side on any vehicle roadway as they are slow moving non-motorized traffic which causes vehicles to cross over the center line to pass them when side by side or not far to the right side singular.

Mopeds however, are registered motorized vehicles and they mandated to stay far to the right, have DOT legal lights, a horn, under 18 must wear an approved helmet, etc and are NEVER allowed to ride side by side so why do bikers having NO safety equipment mandated or any slow moving vehicle signs think they can or have a right to ride side by side or out in the middle of the lane? We find most bikers to be very snobbish, selfcentered, and think they own the roads and the heck with everyone else and that's a huge problem. That's why there have been so many miles of very expensive bike paths constructed all over the USA but most bikers refuse to use them. So if they get hit when on the roads, so be it! Can't fix stupid!

Anyone wonder why there's so many bikers injured or killed as NO person with even half a brain would cross the centerline and hit an oncoming vehicle headon whether alone or having others/family in their vehicle? Because they know they won't get hurt simply hitting the blocking biker riding side by side etc that's blocking the road in front. It's the best option to take and will every time! Bikes must stay far to the right and never ride side by side on a road with vehicle traffic. Bikers don't seem to realize that in an emergency situation on a roadway, it's the biker or the drive and their passengers plus the other vehicle's driver and passengers and the biker will LOSE as they should every time. Bikers are blocking faster moving motorized traffic simply obeying the speed limit and they don't have a choice. A biker makes their choice and legal motorized vehicle drivers will make theirs. Remember that there's almost always other drivers who saw and who will witness/report that the bikes were blocking the road and caused the entire issue. Case closed!

I can guarantee and assure anyone that I'll never hit another vehicle headon rather than hit a biker blocking the road in front of me as most are hard to see until you are too close behind them and so many wobble/drift around in the lane also. It's not that I want to hit the biker but that I wouldn't have a choice due to the stupidity of the blocking biker! So be warned and I'm certainly not alone in that statement.

A bike or moped is a SLOW MOVING hindrance and does NOT have the large visible "slow moving vehicle" triangle sign required by law when traveling on a motor vehicle traveled road.


Or... You can simply wait three or four seconds until it is safe to pass like the law says you are supposed to...


Apparently, per section 257.660 of the Michigan Vehicle Code, "(2) A person riding an electric personal assistive mobility device, motorcycle, or moped upon a roadway shall not ride more than 2 abreast except on a path or part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive use of those vehicles."

So unless more restriction is defined elsewhere, it appears two abreast is OK for mopeds and motorcycles.

Also, "(1) A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device, low-speed vehicle, or moped upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction."

It seems smart for cyclists to follow the same principle if there is a lot of faster traffic present (versus riding abreast, even though it is permitted.) But if you are driving any vehicle, you need to be aware of the roadway ahead and ANY potential obstacles, even stationary ones. Bicycles have reflectors at a minimum and should be at least as visible as other hazards.


Yes. I ride as far right as is safe, and other cyclists should too. However, motorists need to realize that we sometimes take the lane due to safety hazards such as potholes, sewer grates, or as in the case of my commutes to the fountain, all the sand along the right side of North Shore.

While there are a few out there who are jerks and take the whole lane just because, many of us don't unless there is a safety hazard.

The thing I am personally starting to get really annoyed with as both a cyclist and a motorist is the people (usually families that rent bikes for a day) riding the wrong way down the road, especially when they take up a whole lane. I just shake my head at them. I most often encounter these people on North Shore or under the drawbridge on US Bike Route 35 (on Harbor Island).

I am also getting annoyed at cars that pretend I am invisible at four way stops and refuse to give me a chance to go through the intersection when I sit and wait for my turn to go.

Grand Haven Happy

There's usually NO time to wait as the vehicle may be traveling 55 mph and the bike 15 mph or even less. The 40+ mph difference means hardly any time to even climb on the binders (brakes) before hitting the bike! Just do yourself a favor and ride single and at the far right edge of the road or use the expensive purposely constructed BIKE PATHS or be a statistic! What don't you get about it??? Dead is dead! Only an idiot biker would stupidly challange a vehicle as they'd lose every time, period!


Should probably be driving safely then and not flying around corners where you only have a second or two to react. When I drive, that is what I do.

Everybody is in such a freaking hurry these days. Slow down a bit and enjoy life.


And this is a perfect example of one of the many reasons we do not use the 'bike' paths.

And some of the many hazards that force us to take the lane.


Just realized I totally misinterpreted the original question, which was about two people rising on the same moped. The answer uses the term "abreast" which threw me off.


Holy cow, after you said this, I looked at the article again and you are right.

Grand Haven Happy

For crying out loud! In the video the runner purposely moved over to the left lane so he wouldn't interfere with the bike and the biker went over and hit him! The runner is traveling much slower than the biker and remember that as the same with a biker vs a vehicle.

Is that any different than using the excuse like jutting out in front of a vehicle to miss a pothole or sand on the road etc. How is the vehicle driver supposed to guess or know when you're going to abruptly move over right in front of his faster traveling vehicle? Sure is a good way to assure getting hit when on a bike. Use the bike paths!!! No excuses make sense as the speeds involved are but a small fraction of those on the roads and bike path injuries may happen sometimes but that's nothing compared to nearly sure very serious lasting injuries or death! I've had many inncompoops move over in front of the vehicle when driving (SUV or our truck with a large RV on or behind) and it's a miracle that I've never hit on yet but likely will. 15,000 to 22,000 lbs doesn't stop on a dime and your sure can't swerve them or the whiplash effect will take out any biker even on the far right side. Like a bat hitting a baseball!


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