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Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

Last post 12-03-2013 08:08 AM by Twonk. 22 replies.
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  • 10-14-2013 10:39 PM

    • SteveK
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-25-2013
    • Posts 6

    Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    Hi,

    My name is Steve and I'm new here. I am a lawyer in Brisbane and I have recently bought myself what I think is a moped (an Aprilia SR MT50), and I love it!

    What caused me to write this post is the amount of misinformation I have heard and read (some of it on here), about laws in Qld. The most common one I've heard is that you can't ride a moped at more than 50 km/hr on a car licence. This is incorrect.

    Some people have correctly noted that the law surrounding mopeds, and scooters in general, in Qld is extremely confusing. (And, in Qld, a scooter is that toy your kid rides, maybe with an electric motor or two - anything with two or three wheels and a petrol motor is a motorbike, not a scooter) (And a moped is a type of motorbike, so I haven't forgotten to include it here!) (And yes, you can have an electric motorbike but let's not get bogged down before I even begin!)

    Let's start with "what is a moped?". This is different in different states. In Qld it is actually different for different purposes! It truly is a mess but stay with me.

    If we are talking about a question of licencing, like "can I ride a moped on a car licence?", then you would turn to the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010, which says that you can ride a moped on a car licence, and defines a moped (in Schedule 9) to be:

    moped means a motorbike—
    (a) that either—
    (i) is fitted with an electric motor; or
    (ii) has an internal combustion engine with an engine capacity of not more than 50mL; and
    (b) that has a manufacturer’s top rated speed of not more than 50km/h; and
    (c) that is not a bicycle.

    The important thing to note here is that the 50 km/hr is not said to be a speed limit that you must not exceed. It is said to be a "manufacturer's top rated speed". The problem is that this isn't defined anywhere, and Aprilia have not responded to my query as to what their "manufacturer's top rated speed" is for the bike I have bought. I have searched everywhere I know of but have been unable to find what the "manufacturer's top rated speed" for my bike is. Perhaps the Qld Dept of Transport and Main Roads have a list of this for every make of bike. As I don't actually know what the "manufacturer's top rated speed" is for my Aprilia SR MT 50, I still don't know whether what I am riding is actually a moped or it isn't. Therefore, I still don't actully know if I am legally riding it on my car licence, or not!

    Another important thing to note is that speed limits are governed by a separate regulation. Section 20 of the Transport Operations (Road
    Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009
    states that you must not drive over the speed limit. There is no mention of mopeds in this regulation.

    The point is that if a 50cc scooter has a "manufacturer's top rated speed" of more than 50 km/hr, it does not meet the definition of a "moped", and you can therefore not ride it with only a car licence. However, this is simply a question of fact: the bike is or isn't a moped. This has nothing at all to do with how fast you may ride it.

    Even if my bike has a "manufacturer's top rated speed" of not more than 50 km/hr, I'm sure I could probably exceed that going down a long hill with a wind behind me! The regulation concerning licencing for mopeds has nothing at all to do with the regulation about speed limits.

    I await a police officer to dare to pull me over for riding at 60 km/hr on my moped!

    I mentioned earlier that the definition of moped depended on what purpose you were talking about. In Qld, if you were talking about what the requirements were for mirrors, headlights, etc, you would turn to theTransport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010 , which has it's own definition of a moped:

    moped means a motorbike or motortrike with an engine cylinder capacity of not more than 50mL and a maximum speed of not more than 50km/h.

    Your guess is a good as mine as to what the difference is between a "manufacturer's top rated speed of not more than 50 km/hr" and a "maximum speed of not more than 50 km/hr". The first seems to be something which could simply be found in a manual, where perhaps the second needs to be tested for the individual bike? Even if someone got on my bike and was able to take it to a speed greater than 50 km/hr, I would still say to them that all that proved was what sort of lights I needed on it - it did not go to the question of whether I could ride it on my car licence, or whether I could ride it at more than 50 km/hr, as these were all dealt with by separate regulations.

    I hope this has been of some use...

     

  • 10-14-2013 11:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

     Moped is now a LA class vehicle & to comply with ADRs must be restricted to a top speed of 50 kph . If you wanted a  50cc to go more than that then it would need motorcycle compliance LC class plus in QLD a motorcycle license to ride it

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 10-14-2013 11:21 PM In reply to

    • SteveK
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-25-2013
    • Posts 6

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    Please point me to the regulations which back up your assertions. The ADR does not override the Qld legislation.

    The ADR states that an LA - moped is one which has a ""‘Maximum Motor Cycle Speed‘ not exceeding 50 km/h". So what? This is an Australian Design Rule, and what you have said is no more than whether what I am riding falls within the definition of a moped under the ADR. This is a compliance issue. Please tell me how this is to be interpreted as saying that mopeds must somehow be speed limited to 50 km/hr, and please tell me how I cannot ride my moped at more than 50 km/hr?

    This was one of the points of my post - to actually clarify fact from fiction. It doesn't help if people just say I"m wrong by adding useless information that doesn't clarify the law in Qld.

    You are simply wrong in repeating this old wives' tale that I need I a motorbike licence to ride my moped at more than 50 km/hr.

  • 10-14-2013 11:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    To me your scooter ain't a moped but a LA class scooter so different regulations maybe Qld needs to get its definitions back in order Stick out tongue 

    IMHO this the machine that ended the moped era & brought the LA era in

    If you can find old type moped then indeed LA regulations would not apply & the above machine would get you up to 50 mph on a good day Big Smile

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 10-14-2013 11:53 PM In reply to

    • SteveK
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-25-2013
    • Posts 6

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    Love that bike! Unfortunately, your last comment did not help the newcomer clarify the law about mopeds in Qld.

  • 10-15-2013 01:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

     ADRs

     

    LA - MOPED - 2 Wheels - A 2-wheeled motor vehicle, not being a power-assisted pedal cycle, with an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 ml and a ‘Maximum Motor Cycle Speed‘ not exceeding 50 km/h; or a 2-wheeled motor vehicle with a power source other than a piston engine and a ‘Maximum Motor Cycle Speed‘ not exceeding 50 km/h.

     

     

    LC - MOTOR CYCLE - A 2-wheeled motor vehicle with an engine cylinder capacity exceeding

     

    50 ml or a ‘Maximum Motor Cycle Speed‘ exceeding 50 km/h.

    Even if you have a motorcycle license you cant de-restrict a LA class scooter to do more than 50 kph and legally ride it as it doesn't have the stricter LC compliance . If you have a tail wind or going down a hill and exceed 50kph will you be done for speeding i very much doubt it plenty on this site have de-restricted LA machines & have had no trouble with the law

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 10-15-2013 10:30 AM In reply to

    • SteveK
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-25-2013
    • Posts 6

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    Again I say "so what"? The ADR's do not mean that what I'm riding must be speed limited.

    What you are perpetuating is precisely why I wrote this post. You are simply wrong when you say that I will "be done for speeding" for going more than 50 km/hr. I have tried to explain to you why this is but you don't seem to understand.

    ADR's and legislated definitions of a moped have nothing at all to do with speeding offences!

  • 10-15-2013 01:13 PM In reply to

    • DaveO
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-13-2010
    • Cow Flat NSW
    • Posts 290

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    My belief is that ADRs are not laws but guidelines that the States are encouraged to put into legislation in order to get some commonality throughout the country. Tell me if I'm wrong. 

    That said, I haven't seen an FS1E (I think they were designated) for years. Didn't they have some sort of mechanism to rotate one of the pedals so as to lock them into a footrest position? They were designed this way to enable a perfectly good 50cc motorcycle to comply with odd moped laws in some countries. 

    The Red Menace
  • 10-31-2013 03:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

     In NSW there is an exhaustive list of all bike makes and models that are LAMS. Is there not something similar for 50cc bikes you can ride on a car license in Qld? If not they should compile one.

  • 10-31-2013 11:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    The LAMS list is here in Victoria, too. I think the LA/LC debate is more to do with Compliance and Registration.

    It'd be a pretty brave police officer to stand up in Court and prosecute the rider of a LA complianced bike at 53Km/h, unless they can prove modifications.

    4 years and 20,000 K's later, I'm still scootering, and you guys are stuck with me!
  • 10-31-2013 11:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    I don't know of any LC class 50cc machines sold new in Australia  these days not worth the expense for a limited market  

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 11-01-2013 10:14 PM In reply to

    • SteveK
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-25-2013
    • Posts 6

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    And that's really the point of this post - in Qld, any question of whether a scooter is or is not a "moped" is a question of compliance/registration/licencing - it has NOTHING AT ALL to do with speeding offences!!

    Put simply, you cannot be prosecuted for speeding unless you are going over the posted limit. It doesn't matter what the hell you're riding for the speeding offence. These are VERY separate areas of the legislation!

  • 11-01-2013 11:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

     OK so you cant be done for speeding if you are under the posted limit . But as a mater of interest what penalty can you expect if they prove that you have de-restricted the machine to go above 50 kph

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 11-03-2013 07:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Mopeds and the law in Qld - common misconceptions!

    Interesting.

    Just a correction. You keep referring to km/hr in your text. It is km/h, nothing else, particularly when you are pointing out the finer points of legislation.

    P.S For the record, it isn't kph, KMH, kmh, inter alia

     

     

  • 11-03-2013 10:03 PM In reply to

    • SteveK
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-25-2013
    • Posts 6

    Re: Mopeds and thew in Qld - common misconceptions!

     Wow - you must lead such an exciting life to take the time to actually post that correction. Is it hard living in your world where you have to correct everybody who sneezes the wrong way?

    Now that I know that annoys you, I will always refer to it as km/hr! (Maybe with an occasional kph thrown in too!)

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