Police forbid drunk driving of moped

11 Jul 2018, 02:45

  DF Report

File Photo VisitFinland by Karen McKenna.

The police on Tuesday urged moped drivers to refrain from driving in an intoxicated condition.

The law enforcement agency also asked people to ensure fitness before driving moped on the road and showing consideration towards others, said an official press release.

“Driving a moped while intoxicated is just as punishable as with other vehicles. Moreover, if you drive while intoxicated, you are at an obvious risk of getting injured,” said Chief Superintendent Heikki Ihalainen of the National Police Board.

Moped meet-ups are events organised by the moped driver community. Nowadays, various meet-ups are held around Finland. The manner of organising the events varies. Probably the most common way is to agree via social media to meet in a certain place at a certain time.

In Turku, for instance, the police, the Finnish Road Safety Council and a local biker association have given moped drivers advice and support on holding such events. The idea is to ensure that the meet-up runs safely and causes as little disturbance as possible within its surroundings.

Ihalainen points out that it is vital to exercise common sense at these meet-ups, although this is sometimes easily forgotten when in a group. Drivers should not overestimate their skills.

“There has been at least one case of serious injury during such a meet-up this summer. Although you may think your driving skills are excellent, mistakes can happen while operating a moped or a motorcycle,” Ihalainen said.

Moped drivers are also urged to stop immediately when they are signalled to do so by police performing traffic surveillance. By trying to escape from the police, drivers not only put their own safety at risk, but also the safety of others.

“This always results in a driving ban imposed by the police. Cases of causing a serious traffic hazard are ultimately handled in court,” said Ihalainen.

The permitted highest speed for mopeds is 45 km/h. Structural modifications to make a moped faster are forbidden. Provisions concerning mopeds also apply to light quadricycles in certain respects.

In recent years, five people a year have died in moped accidents. In addition, nearly 500 people have been injured annually in accidents reported to the police. However, not all moped accidents are reported.