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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:34 pm 
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Staff

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 283
Amanda brings the case against her husband Pat. They recently moved to a new neighborhood, and Amanda wants to buy a motor scooter to commute to work and get about town. Pat says it's a dangerous idea, especially for his accident-prone wife.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 145: Moped Operandi


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:36 pm 
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New Kid

Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:15 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Seattle, WA
Great session JJH! Your ruling was just and well thought out.

Having been in the same situation as Amanda, I would like to show what the future for Amanda may be like by explaining my own experience. In 2006 I lived in Las Vegas, NV and was in my mid-30s. While living there I rode my first scooter, a 49cc Honda Metropolitan, and while I know first-hand that the traffic in Austin is more threatening than in Las Vegas, it's still quite dangerous. Within 6 months I found that a 49cc scooter just wasn't safe enough because it did not have the acceleration necessary to avoid collisions and obstacles. I sold that scooter and then rode a 150cc Genuine Stella (also mentioned in the case). This gave me the acceleration I needed. Just because the top speed was higher did not mean that I went any faster than 35 mph. Also, this scooter from Chicago is actually imported from the Indian company (LML) that made Vespas for the Italian company, so it is the exact build, materials and engineering of a 1960s Vespa. It's as close to a new Quadrophenia scooter that you can get. And it isn't so vintage that you can't hurl it from some cliffs in mid-30s angst.

I did join a scooter club thereafter and had a great time and gathered better riding skills and great friends.

A 150cc motorcycle or scooter will require a motorcycle endorsement in most states. I would recommend that anyone who wants to ride a motorized 2-wheeler (even a 49cc scooter) to take a Motorcycle Safety course (MSF). It will get you a motorcycle endorsement on your license and is a great way to tell if you have the agility and will to ride a scooter on the road.

Oh, and for Amanda's note about her husband riding on the back of her scooter: A Honda Metropolitan is a one-person scooter, and a Vespa LX doesn't have quite enough room for 2 people either. A 49cc motor scooter is not quite powerful enough to haul two Americans around on the road at a safe speed.

My best wishes to Pat and Amanda, and I hope Pat gets to play Gregory Peck in Amanda's Roman Holiday moment.

Thank you for another great court case! Cheers Jesse and JJH!

--
Mike P


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