The East Vision

The benefits of mopeds

Madeline VanGessel, Focus Editor

Once the snow melts and it’s warm enough to bring the mopeds out of storage, the sidewalk near the Memorial field entrance will be filled with them and the notorious moped gangs. The “moped lot” opens up many parking spaces around the school premises, making it easier for those who drive to find a spot. Due to the low cost of maintaining a moped and the ease of parking at the high school, many students opt to riding a moped rather than driving a car. But, they’re not always reliable which is the reason many people avoid them and go a different route. While they may be fun, easy, and inexpensive to ride, a greater percentage of students at East Grand Rapids High School would rather drive a car for various reasons.

The actual price of a moped is typically a third of the cost of a car. For $2 you are able to fill an entire tank of gas for a moped, whereas a car could be upwards of $40. Because of this, many parents choose to buy a moped for their kids. The ability to ride to school, practice, or a friend’s house without needing a driver’s license gives teenagers a whole new sense of responsibility earlier than others who don’t ride a moped. “I’m not old enough to drive a car, so I like driving a moped because it’s the closest thing to it,” Taylor Law ‘21 said. This gives parents one less thing or child to worry about in the morning and allows teenagers to get where they need to go on their own time. “I like to ride my moped because it gives me more freedom,” Caroline Potteiger ‘21 said. Instead of having to walk or ride her bike when her parents are unable to drive her somewhere, she is able to ride her moped.

The ride to school in the morning may be a bit brisk, but finding a spot comes with much more ease while riding a moped. Plus, it can be more fun! “I love the exhilarating feeling of my hair blowing in the wind while riding my moped with my friends,” Jack Billo ‘19 said. At East Grand Rapids High School, unless you arrive at school well before the start of the day or the end of the lunch hour, people spend more time parking their car than they would just walking to school. Mopeds have unlimited places to park, so it isn’t a concern for moped riders. “Driving a moped is a lot easier because you don’t have to worry about parking at all,” Owen Dejong ‘19 said. This means that moped riders can sleep in a little later in the morning or have a longer lunch hour.

Although sleeping in sounds nice to many people, the concern for the general lack of safety with moped riders has many people steering clear on riding one.. “I like a car more than a moped because I crashed my moped Sophomore year and got injured,” Grace Gooch ‘19 said. The risk of falling off or crashing a moped is high and the reason many people choose to buy a car instead. Freshman, Drew Cieslak has also crashed his moped as well, but still chooses to ride it because it doesn’t have his driver’s license yet. Parking may be quicker with a moped, but cars have the ability to drive much faster. “Compared to a moped, I definitely think a car makes getting around from place to place so much easier,” Rose Kromer ‘19 said. A driver’s license isn’t required for mopeds to be used, so some riders may not be mature enough to follow the laws of the road. With respect to pedestrians and other drivers, it’s important that moped riders are knowledgeable of driving rules and regulations and choose to drive responsibly. It’s especially important that everyone wears a helmet; even if it doesn’t fit your style).

Another downside to using a moped is the unpredictable weather we have in Michigan. If snow falls or it’s raining, it may be nearly impossible to ride to school. That’s where a car comes in handy and is more reliable. “I would rather have a car because you can drive your friends too,” Edie Adams ‘20 said. Being able to drive in all weather and bring along more than one friend makes a car seem more appealing to many drivers.

Whether in a car or riding a moped, there are pros and cons. It all just depends on the person and their parents. Some students opt to walk or ride their bike to school, which has many pros and cons of their own. All in all, opinions vary widely on the best mode of transportation but what is most important is that everyone is able to make responsible and safe decisions on how to get to school on time. A car can be seen as a safer, reliable, and more expensive type of transportation and a moped a convenient, inexpensive, and fun option. For Freshman or other students who don’t have their driver’s license and want a new way of getting around, hopefully the insight of other students helps with the decision on which to choose. When the weather warms up permanently, the moped riders will be able to finally make their way back to the streets after a long and cold winter and the little “moped lot” up near Memorial field will no longer look so empty.

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