ATLANTA --- The state has begun to offer safety training to scooter riders as Georgians look to the two-wheelers as a way to save money.
With gasoline prices creeping up, a scooter that gets from 75-115 miles per gallon looks like a way to save money during a recession.
"It's a lot more fun hopping on a scooter than that big old gas guzzler," said Chris Plummer, a manager with Tomberlin Outdoors, an Augusta scooter dealer.
State law requires a motorcycle license for anyone driving a scooter with an engine larger than 50 cubic centimeters. So, now the Department of Driver Services' Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program will begin including scooters in its basic and experienced-rider classes.
"Scooters are extremely popular with gas prices rising and with the economy what it is, and people are trying to find a less-costly way to commute," said Jim Kelly, the manager of the program.
But he warned that scooters in traffic with other vehicles can require as much skill as a large motorcycle, and considerably more concentration than driving a car.
Scooters are less visible to other drivers than motorcycles. So the program offers tips on increasing visibility.
ABOUT THE COURSE
WHAT YOU GET: Instruction on turning, cornering, swerving and emergency braking
WHEN: The 18-hour courses are conducted on weekends.
MORE INFO: To find out more about the safety courses or to register, go to www.dds.ga.gov/training