An Open Letter as a Moped Driver in Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Don’t Be a Jerk
Driving a moped, scooter, or E-bike is a phenomenal means of transportation in certain towns and cities like Portsmouth, NH, Dover, NH, Newburyport, MA, Ogunquit, ME, and more. For all the reasons that you should own one, click here.
While they are phenomenal "vehicles" if you want have fun while getting from point A to point B, they can also be dangerous and really frustrating.
This "letter" is geared towards those who are rude to moped drivers. That is not everyone. Many car drivers are used to people driving mopeds, and respect them as another vehicle on the road.
That is not the case for everyone. SO...
Dear drivers who are rude behind a moped in a moped tow: don't be a jerk. More importantly, back off.
When the speed limit is 30 mph or below, I am going to drive my moped in the middle of the road, just like a car. My moped can top out between 30-40 mph, depending on the incline. What does that mean? I can easily drive in a 20, 25, or even a 30 mph zone. That means there is absolutely no reason to try and pass someone on a moped when they are in a 30 mph zone, or less.
It is scary. When you are on a 50cc moped, shaking at 30 mph, and a car tries to pass you, it feels like you are surrounded by possible death.
To that point, remember the three seconds rule in drivers ed? No? I will remind you.
While driving behind someone, you should be three seconds behind their vehicle. So, if my moped is driving 30 mph and I pass a sign, your car should pass that sign in three seconds or more.
Stop tailgating mopeds to go faster. They can't. Stop tailgating mopeds to get over in the breakdown lane. They shouldn't, and also cannot drive there.
That is another thing that is extremely silly. If my moped can go the speed limit, or within five mph, it will be in the middle of my lane. Not driving next to a curb like a bicycle.
Flashing lights, beeps, or speeding up to get real close to me is NOT going to get me to get over.
The only time I am in a breakdown line/getting over to let cars pass is when I am not able to go the speed limit. For example, if I was in a 40 mph zone, uphill, with a passenger on my moped, I would get over and suggest the driver behind me passes.
It is the right thing to do. Why? Because I am drastically slowing traffic.
That said, in a 30 mph zone, downhill, by myself, I am staying in my lane and driving. Why? Because I am likely going 30 mph, not slowing traffic, and I deserve to feel safe on the road.
Just because you can/want to take your sedan, SUV, or pick-up 35-40 mph in a 30, doesn't mean I should be threatened with flashes, beeps, and passing cars.
This can all be encompassed with one phrase: don't be a jerk. Respect our moped community.
Moped driving is great for carbon emissions, parking issues, and so much more. Plus, they are fun. When you see one, respect them. Respect them as if it were your kid, friend, or mom in front of you.
Don't pass, beep, flash, speed up, or tailgate...and again, don't be a jerk.