Decree 160 of the Ministry of Transportation, which regulates the operation of mopeds and assisted bicycles throughout the country, was left full of doubts for thousands of vehicle owners who feel in legal limbo. The Ministry explained this Friday what happened with the mopeds, including the restrictions and regulations that will allow them to manage their operation.
What is a moped and what is an assisted bicycle?
According to decree 160, mopeds are those two-wheeled vehicles with an internal combustion engine of less than 50 cubic centimeters of capacity, or with an electric motor of 0.35 to 4 kilowatts (kW) of power. An assisted bicycle is a pedal motor vehicle with a weight of less than 35 kilograms, a power of less than 0.35 kW and that cannot reach a speed greater than 25 km/h.
Is that a real difference?
Quite. According to Deputy Transport Minister Alejandro Maya, separating mopeds from bicycles fills a legal vacuum. “Mopeds are vehicles that are too big and fast to travel on a sidewalk or a bike path, so it was necessary to regulate their operation,” he said.
What will those regulations be?
They are divided into two types: circulation and registration regulations. Let’s start with the second: mopeds that have been imported into Colombia or manufactured after February 2 must be registered with the Runt. For this, they must have mandatory third-party service insurance (Soat), traffic license, license plate and security elements, and they will have to comply with a mechanical technical review. These rules will not apply to assisted bicycles
Should I go to the Transit agency to put a license plate on my moped?
Not yet. The Ministry of Transportation is carrying out procedures with the Runt and the transit agencies to determine the details of these regulations. There are also negotiations with the Financial Superintendence to draw up the table of charges for Soat.
That’s going to cost a lot…
It is possible, but it is not safe. According to Vice Minister Maya, the negotiations with the Financial Superintendency will seek to make the Soat for mopeds cost less than that for motorcycles, as well as the payments for mechanical technical review and traffic license.
But I bought my moped before February 2nd. Do I still need to register?
The National Traffic Code only allows the registration of new vehicles, so there will be no plates for mopeds imported or manufactured before February 2, 2017. Maya did not specify how these mopeds will be separated, beyond having databases of previously manufactured vehicles.
So my moped will never pay Soat?
Well, in theory… although the average useful life of mopeds, according to studies by the Universidad de los Andes, is less than 3 years.
And what are the traffic regulations?
The most critical are the regulations to remove mopeds from cycle paths, cycle paths and other structures designed specifically for bicycles (assisted or regular). The moped will circulate like an ordinary motorcycle on the roads, and users must wear a helmet with the same safety references used for motorcycles.
Should I go out and buy the helmet for my moped?
Yes: the regulations for mopeds began to operate for all users from February 2.
But I don’t have a motorcycle helmet! Will they give me a subpoena?
Not necessarily. During the first month, the Ministry recommended to the local authorities to put pedagogical subpoenas for moped users. Even so, be aware: this is at the discretion of each transit authority (department or municipality).