Kids on the move in Alberta

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Alberta has moved its scooter regulations into line with federal standards and now permits 14-year-olds to ride on public roads.

The province has removed a weight restriction of 55 kg for mopeds, so 49 cc scooters that exceed that weight and can reach 70 km/h now fit the legal definition of mopeds and can be ridden by riders over 13 with a learner’s permit.

An engineer with Alberta Transportation told the Calgary Herald that before the regulatory change, it was not possible to buy a moped that met the province’s standards.

An argument that putting youngsters onto scooters will teach them to ride responsibly is advanced by some, but others say 14-year-olds don’t have the ability to understand the potential consequences of riding recklessly. The legal change affects older riders, too, however, and may result in more scooter sales in places like Calgary.

The age limit for riding mopeds in Alberta agrees with some other provinces. In Quebec, for instance, 14-year-olds can ride mopeds. That province is considering raising the age limit for other users, however. Use of what the provincial insurer calls “high-risk” motorcycles may be restricted to people over 24 years old in a couple of years.

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