Police stress moped safety and regulations for new school year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police stress moped safety and regulations for new school year

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Motors are buzzing as the fall semester kicks off and with a new school year comes safety concerns as more University of Iowa students are getting around by mopeds.

"It exploded, of course, over the last week and a half but yeah, a month ago you know, very rare that you'll see a moped but now they're everywhere," University of Iowa Police Sergeant Brad Schramm said.

Schramm and UI Police are reminding drivers to not only follow the rules but to pay attention while on the road.

"Be aware of their surroundings whether you're on a moped, a bicycle, or in a car. Just make sure you're not pulling out in front of somebody and making sure it's clear to go," Schramm said.

He said every year they unfortunately see collisions involving motorcycles and mopeds on campus.

"We always hear we just didn't see them. I just didn't see them," Schramm said.

While wearing a helmet while driving a moped or motorcycle isn't required by law, police strongly recommend they be worn. It's something that University of Iowa student, Amber Decker, does every time she gets on her moped.

"Honestly, it doesn't take that long and I just don't really trust other drivers and I know Iowa City gets super busy and you just hear lots of bad stories and I just don't want to be one of those stories," she said.

For Decker, having a moped helps her get her from off-campus where she lives to classes and track practices but said she's had a few too close of calls.

"I've almost hit someone because they haven't seen me or I didn't see them it's just so busy downtown you never know what can happen," she said.

On top of being safe, police are reminding drivers that there are rules that have to be followed when driving a moped such as how many people can be on one.

"You can only have one rider at a time. You can't have two riders so that's probably our biggest infraction that we see is two people riding on a moped at the same time," Schramm said.

Non-compliance to that rule can earn drivers a $107.24 fine.

Another common violation Schramm said is people driving mopeds on sidewalks or driving side-by-side on the road. 

UI Police do offer safety checks for students to make sure their registrations are correct. Safety flags are also required for mopeds which police do give out for free.

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