More powerful than a bicycle but much smaller than a motorcycle, motor scooters have become ubiquitous on the University of Georgia campus.
An employee at Top Dog Scooters said that 60 to 70 percent of his sales are to students. Scooters can start at $999 and go up.
Scooters can squeeze through tight place; get phenomenal gas mileage of up to 110 miles a gallon; and are a lot of fun to ride.
But for UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson, their popularity is making them a problem.
“Many of those who operate them don’t think of them as automobiles, they break laws because they think they’re riding a bicycle,” he said. “You can look at the high number of students with scarred legs and know they’ve taken a slide on them.”
One problem for Williamson is that Georgia law requires little of those who ride scooters. They don't need insurance or tags, as other vehicles do. And there's no requirement for those riding a scooter to wear a helmet.
If a scooter is in a wreck with a car, the car owner may be left holding the bag. "All we can do is record the accident," Williamson said. "There's no insurance company to contact. The scooter owners don’t think of it as an automobile. If you had to get a tag and insurance, you would think differently."
Not everybody, however, sees them as dangerous.
"They're as dangerous as you ride them," said one scooter owner.