By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Pulaski Town Council hasn’t decided whether to require town residents to register their mopeds, but safety is a factor to be considered in the decision, according to Vice Mayor Joseph Goodman.
Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche said one advantage to requiring registration is that the town will be able to distribute moped regulations to those who will be operating them. Roche said he would like to be able to get some information out to operators about the proper use of mopeds on roads.
“You probably already know they’re supposed to ride to the right side of the travel lane, but they’re riding down the middle of the road,” Roche told council. “Our guys are stopping them now for that.”
He said the department already has a brochure of regulations that could be handed out when mopeds are registered.
Another benefit to registration, Town Manager John Hawley said, is that police would have a serial number to link with owners if a moped is recovered after being lost or stolen. Registration is also beneficial in the prosecution of cases involving moped theft.
Hawley said Virginia law does allow localities to require registration of mopeds the same way other vehicles have to be registered in the locality where they are housed. If approved, the ordinance would only apply to mopeds housed in the town limits unless Pulaski County chose to require registration as well.
The only problem that could be encountered if the county doesn’t require registration is that town officers could stop a moped that isn’t displaying a registration, only to discover it is owned by non-town resident. If that happened, “I’m sure our officers would handle that very well and move on,” Hawley said.
Mayor Jeff Worrell commented that the number of mopeds on town streets seems to be increasing all the time.
Council indicated it would like staff to continue gathering more information on how moped registration would work.
Goodman said, “The key is that it’s a safety issue.”