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  1. #1
    Senior Member globie's Avatar
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    Ninja scooter rider dies on my route

    On my way home last night, a guy riding a 49cc scooter passed me slowly, followed closely by a line of cars. It was just past dusk, and he had no lights on the scooter and was wearing dark clothes with no reflective elements anywhere.
    I actually thought I would yell some cautionary advice if I caught him at a light, but it never happened. Today I read that he was killed just a quarter mile from my turnoff. Very creepy feeling. God rest his soul.
    I know I'm preaching to the choir on this forum, but hey, it's dark out there. Get some lights and reflective clothing or don't ride.

  2. #2
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Very creepy. I think folks like this don't have a sense of their own vulnerability - if only he'd had a few close calls before last night that scared him into getting a reflective vest or something.
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    It's sad that he died, but it seems he was actively seeking his Darwin Award.

  4. #4
    Senior Member globie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    It's sad that he died, but it seems he was actively seeking his Darwin Award.
    The motorist who unwittingly hit him wasn't seeking this kind of holiday calamity.

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    I thought those scooter were illegal to ride in the streets? There're fast as mopeds and should require a license.

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    Many states classify scooters by top speed or displacement (cc). In New York for example, there are three classes. The fastest / biggest class requires a motorcycle license, can operate in any traffic lane. The other types can operate in right hand lane or shoulder, and only require a driver's license.

    I"ve ridden my 150 cc Stella on the highway before…had to drop our minivan off at a dealer about 30 miles away and nobody was around to shuttle me. It hits about 62 mph with me tucked behind the windshield, but feels pretty sketchy with tractor trailers flying by.

  7. #7
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I thought those scooter were illegal to ride in the streets? There're fast as mopeds and should require a license.
    I don't think 49cc scooters require a license in any state, and they're legal in the street in all states (just not limited access roads). I don't have an opinion on whether they should require a license, but surely they shouldn't be excluded from anywhere a bicycle is allowed? I can't think of a reason why not.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I don't have an opinion on whether they should require a license, but surely they shouldn't be excluded from anywhere a bicycle is allowed? I can't think of a reason why not.
    Speed?? My Honda MB5 would top out over 50MPH. One set the 50cc land speed record () at 64.something MPH.

    Most any 50cc scooter would be quite a bit faster than bikes and mom's pushing strollers.
    Disclaimer: It's just an opinion that I have. It works for me. I am not the forum "Police (Of Anything)". Others may disagree. And....YMMV.
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  9. #9
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I don't think 49cc scooters require a license in any state
    Ok,DC's not a state (fraking Congress ),but here they have a chart that determines whether a vehicle is classified a motorcycle or not. To not be a motorcycle,it has to meet all the criteria on the second part,including hp,top speed,displacement,wheel size. The one that usually gets them is the 1.5hp max;over that,it's a motorcycle. Not that anyone cares,until they get clipped by a car and don't get their full medical because we're also one of the last contributory negligence jurisdictions,and since they don't have a moto license or plate,they legally weren't supposed to be on the road in the first place.

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  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    As of January 1, those 49cc scooters will require some minimal kind of registration plus operator must have state ID in Indiana. Must pass a basic street sign test. Also, they will be limited to one person - no passengers. That will inconvenience all the folks I see riding those things doubled up.
    Moped scooter riders in Indiana face tighter rules
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    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Don't the mopeds and scooters fall under the motorcycle running light laws?

    Headlight on at all times.
    Also required to have a tail light and turn signals?

    Perhaps the bike conversions are different, but some of them are pretty speedy.

    Sorry to hear about the accident.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I don't think 49cc scooters require a license in any state, and they're legal in the street in all states (just not limited access roads).
    Wildly inaccurate. Of the 50 US states, there are probably 47 different takes/legal definitions/regulations on electric bicycles/motorized bicycles/mopeds/motorscooters/small displacement motorcycles.

    I don't have an opinion on whether they should require a license, but surely they shouldn't be excluded from anywhere a bicycle is allowed?
    My 49cc scooter will do 42mph. You really want me on the bike path?
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Everyone that uses the streets, road, and highways will sooner or later be involved in an accident. Sure some who ignore laws and normal safety precautions have may have accidents more frequently. But there are no magic chants or charms, no special precautions or behaviors, or high tech equipment that can eliminate the inevitable accident. We all equality share that certainty.

    Unfortunately not all vehicles are equal in the protection they provide for their users.

    I understand the human need to separate ourselves... at least in our minds... from the risk involved with traveling in public with little more protection than our very skin. Certainly... lights, behaviors, reflective surfaces... all are good ideas and all help. But the certain and inevitable fender-bender that can be fatal to the least protected will always be waiting for us.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Everyone that uses the streets, road, and highways will sooner or later be involved in an accident.
    Perhaps. But, one can take basic measures to be as safe as possible, and minimize the carnage when it happens.

    That includes having enough lighting to at least be visible on the road, whether or not one wishes to navigate by moonlight, at least let others see you.

    The rider was apparently an adult... But the worst news to any parent, spouse, GF, BF, or child is that their loved one is never coming home again.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    Perhaps. But, one can take basic measures to be as safe as possible, and minimize the carnage when it happens.
    That includes having enough lighting to at least be visible on the road, whether or not one wishes to navigate by moonlight, at least let others see you.
    The rider was apparently an adult... But the worst news to any parent, spouse, GF, BF, or child is that their loved one is never coming home again.
    I agree we should all attempt to behave safely. And... that death is tragic. But... and this is my point.. I know on no way to "minimize the carnage when it happens". Cyclist assume an extra ordinary risk when riding in traffic.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    There is some risk of riding a bicycle. There is also a risk of dying on the couch (which is far too common in America).

    It is a greater risk to ride in the middle of the road and the cars can't see you than to ride on the side of the road with plenty of lighting.

    At times I'm more concerned that cars who are too impatient to wait for clear visibility will swerve around me on a corner and do a head-on with another car.

  17. #17
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I'm a daily bike commuter, rain or shine. My ride in is always before dawn and, during the winter, my ride home is after dark. I have never been hit by, or hit, a car. I have three taillights on the bike or backpack, two headlights on bike or helmet, and a couple more lights on the bar ends. Not all are usually turned on, some are for backup - but I have ridden with every light blazing, when it felt necessary. I also have some reflectives on the clothes and backpack.

    An astonishing number of cyclists think riding at night with no lights or reflectives is fine, or safe, or the way things should be. They say drivers are responsible for seeing everything and not "over driving their lights". They say "that's how they ride in Copenhagen". They say using or recommending lights or reflectives sends a message that cycling is unsafe, discourages prospective riders, enables victim blaming, tells drivers they need not drive safely and excuses cities from building cycle paths. They say reflectives or, worse, high viz are crimes against fashion.

    I'm pretty sure someone is going to come on this thread and say those things.

    Well, people can be as stupid as they wish and when I hear of a ninja cyclist (or ninja scooter rider, in this case) being killed, I frankly could not care less. I only hope that they didn't persuade someone else to ride the same way.
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  18. #18
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    I'm pretty sure someone is going to come on this thread and say those things.

    Well, people can be as stupid as they wish and when I hear of a ninja cyclist (or ninja scooter rider, in this case) being killed, I frankly could not care less. I only hope that they didn't persuade someone else to ride the same way.
    No need for anyone to say "those things." You already regurgitated all the stuff "they" said to somebody, somewhere.
    Plus you added your own charming thoughts on compassion.

  19. #19
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    As of January 1, those 49cc scooters will require some minimal kind of registration plus operator must have state ID in Indiana. Must pass a basic street sign test. Also, they will be limited to one person - no passengers. That will inconvenience all the folks I see riding those things doubled up.
    Moped scooter riders in Indiana face tighter rules
    That's a great idea. My understanding on the 49cc scooters is that they were made to be just outside the law and were designed to be sold for use in campgrounds, golf courses, factories etc... and it would entirely coincidental if they were used by people who lacked a drivers license/insurance/skill needed to be safe etc...

  20. #20
    Senior Member bconneraz's Avatar
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    It's a creepy feeling indeed when someone is killed on your route. I have 2 spots on my route that have been the scene of a fatality; one was a fellow commuter riding home from work; I rode by the ghost bike for a couple weeks. Last month, I rolled up on an intersection about 30 seconds after a kid got hit crossing the street on a skateboard.

    My commute home on Thursday was later than usual; I try to time my ride home so I can beat the crazy So Cal traffic. I got hung up at work, and ended up leaving after dark. No problem though; 3 tail lights, two headlights, hi vis clothing, reflective bands on my ankles, side lights, reflective tires.....

    Despite my best efforts, I still had 2 close calls. I couldn't possibly make myself more visible.

    Anyone foolish enough to ride in the dark with absolutely no lights or reflectors is crazy. While I wont go as far as to say that someone like that is asking for trouble, I will say that they should expect it.

    Commuting home with the "happy hour crowd" driving home is scary enough; at least give the drivers a chance to see you.
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  21. #21
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    Back when I was first biking to work it was always in the day time till they stuck me on closing shift. After riding in the dark with no lights or bright clothing and being practically invisible, that was enough for me to purchase lights and a high vis jacket. I want to get a brighter headlight and some reflective leg bands. I have a bright blue strip of lights on the bottom of my bike but need to replace the batteries. I hate seeing all the advertisments to be "chic and stylish" on bike commutes. Like "Oh I need to worry about looking good. Let me wear these muted colors and no helmet". Am I the only person that likes high vis clothing too? I might dress stylish too but then I remember "Oh yeah! I ride next to 1000+ pound metal machines all the time!"

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InGrained View Post
    I hate seeing all the advertisments to be "chic and stylish" on bike commutes. Like "Oh I need to worry about looking good. Let me wear these muted colors and no helmet". Am I the only person that likes high vis clothing too?
    You may be the only person who has seen "all the advertisements to be 'chic and stylish' on bike commutes" and interpreted that as some sort of requirement to wear muted muted colors and/or no helmet in order to look good while bicycling, or that these advertised stylish clothes somehow prevent the use of adequate lights and reflectors. Can you reference a few of those advertisements?

  23. #23
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    This report says nothing about how or what type of accident it was. He could have been plowed into by a drunk driver for all we know.

    It's tragic and a good reminder to stay safe and not rush to judge victims of crime or accidents, especially ones that end with loss of life.


    "A man riding a scooter was killed Wednesday evening when he collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Holly Hills and Vermont avenues, St. Louis police said.The incident happened just before 5 p.m. The driver of the scooter, a man in his 30s, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Nobody else was injured. Police continue to investigate.
    The crash happened in the city's Carondelet neighborhood."

  24. #24
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    So sad. I always count my blessings when I just happen to notice the idjits riding at night with all dark bike/clothing/etc and no helmet. And no pedal reflectors. What a shame.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  25. #25
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globie View Post
    On my way home last night, a guy riding a 49cc scooter passed me slowly, followed closely by a line of cars. It was just past dusk, and he had no lights on the scooter and was wearing dark clothes with no reflective elements anywhere.
    I actually thought I would yell some cautionary advice if I caught him at a light, but it never happened. Today I read that he was killed just a quarter mile from my turnoff. Very creepy feeling. God rest his soul.
    I know I'm preaching to the choir on this forum, but hey, it's dark out there. Get some lights and reflective clothing or don't ride.
    A good 1/3 of my routine routes have had multiple fatal incidents, so i guess it doesn't come off to me as creepy, just unfortunate. Driving a motor scooter (or anything motor powered) in the dark with no lights in PA and NJ is illegal, i know that for sure. All you can do is stay aware & try to set an example & be politely informing to those you feel might be doing themselves a disservice by operating a vehicle unsafely. Glad you're ok.... don't let this shake you too much, things happen even to the best prepared.

    - Andy
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