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May 4, 2013

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Out-of-town moped tags may be banned

THE majority of the city's scooters and mopeds wouldn't be able to legally ride on Shanghai's streets if city legislators approve a local proposal to ban such vehicles that use out-of-town license tags.

Many scooters and mopeds already are illegal because they use fake out-of-town plates.

The measure would make road safety enforcement easier for police by banning hard-to-trace, out-of-town plates even if real. Officials said it would help police eliminate souped-up mopeds that are more powerful and dangerous and often use fake plates to avoid detection.

The move also could affect expats, who often favor scooters and mopeds, police said.

There are more than 2.7 million registered electric mopeds in the city, with an annual growth of 158,000. But more than 3 million have no genuine license tags or out-of-town ones, according to Guo Jianrong, secretary general of the Shanghai Bicycle Industry Association.

"The city will have a easier traffic law enforcement environment after the over-standard mopeds and those with fake plates are removed," said Sun Jianping, director with Shanghai Transport and Port Administration.

Mopeds and scooters, less powerful than motorcycles, are limited to speeds below 20 kilometers per hour and weight of no more than 40 kilograms. They can be modified to boost speeds to 60kph to 70kph.

The vehicles were involved in more than 345,000 traffic violations last year.

More than 50 people were killed in nearly 300 moped-related mishaps in 2012.


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