Arkansas AG: Think Twice About Scooters, ATVs

April 20, 2004

Attorney General Mike Beebe is asking Arkansans to think carefully before purchasing scooters, small all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or small utility vehicles. Many of the purchasers of these scooters and small ATVs are parents who buy them for their children, some as young as six years old.

The AG’s office said General Beebe advises parents that, aside from the risks associated with driving these scooters, it may also be illegal. Arkansas Code Annotated §27-20-111 defines a “motorized bicycle” as one that has an automatic transmission and no larger than a 50cc motor. The law requires that anyone driving one of these vehicles must be at least 10 years of age and obtain an “operator’s certificate,” which means that they have to pass an examination administered by the Arkansas State Police. Without the proper certificate, operators are subject to misdemeanor penalties, and the scooter may be impounded.

Additionally, it is unlawful for anyone to sell any new motorized vehicle at any place other than a state-licensed location unless the sale has been approved by the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission. Consumers should not buy scooters, small ATVs or small utility vehicles from places such as flea markets or street-side vendors without first making sure that the dealer is state-licensed-or-approved.

Not only is it illegal for unlicensed vendors to sell these vehicles, the vehicle itself may be poorly manufactured, which could lead to dangerous injuries. Sometimes the manufacturers’ warranties are of short duration or are even written in a different language, leaving consumers with little indication of what, if any, warranty they have received for protection. Unless a manufacturer/dealer is licensed with the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission, consumers may have limited recourse available to them in cases of malfunction or injury, since the dealer may be difficult to track down.

The Attorney General advised anyone having information on the unauthorized sales of scooters or small ATVs and small utility vehicles to contact the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission, 101 East Capitol, Suite 212, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201. The Commission can be reached by calling (501)682-1428.

For questions, contact the Attorney General’s Office at 200 Catlett-Prien Tower Building, 323 Center Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. The office can be reached by calling (501) 682-2341 or (800) 482-8982 or by visiting our Web site at TDD service is available for the hearing-impaired 682-6073.

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