More than a month ago the state of Maryland passed a new set of laws intended to better regulate the safety of scooters and mopeds. While the laws provide for a safer riding experience, they also increase the financial burden on renters.
College Scooters owner Navid Mazloom noticed a loss in sales in the aftermath of the new rules but doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about.
“I feel like maybe things slowed down a bit because people think it’s a lot more serious than it actually is,” Mazloom said. “I think once people learn what’s involved with it there won’t be any long-term damage to sales. But right now I think people are confused about the law and that may be a reason for it slowing down a little bit.”
College Scooters is the only scooter rental location in College Park, and caters mainly to University of Maryland students. Mazloom says that his business made efforts to enforce safe riding before the enforcement of the new laws.
“I’m not sure if it’s in the law that we’re obligated to or not, but we always make sure to tell every single one of our customers the law,” he said. “We don’t sell them a scooter if they don’t have everything in order. Most of our customers got insurance and wore helmets before the law, it’s just mandatory now.”
While the new regulations increase costs by requiring scooter riders to wear a helmet, insure their vehicle and purchase a title to register with the Motor Vehicle Administration, Mazloom insists that scooters are still the most efficient way to travel on campus.
“It’s the most reasonable and flexible way to get around. It’s still a lot cheaper than having a car and a lot more accessible,” the owner said. “It’s cheaper to park it on campus, cheaper to insure and you still get 100 miles per gallon. Everything’s still cheaper”