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Good news for scooter-haters citywide: Someone in officialdom is on your side. Vespa Washington manager Gerry Helfgott says there’s been a spike in enforcement of registration requirements, which, contrary to popular belief, apply to all scooters in D.C., regardless of engine size. When customers call to complain about getting pulled over, he says, they usually mention one man: Officer Richard Carter, a motorcycle cop with the special operations division. Last month, George Washington University grad student Ethan Pollack received five tickets totaling $1,180 from Carter for riding without registration. Pollack says he didn’t know he had to register his 49.5cc Daelim. But the officer, he says, was still “unnecessarily confrontational and patronizing.” Pollack was also sited for failure to present insurance, failure to have insurance, failure to show up for inspection, and reckless driving.
Carter acknowledges he’s behind many of the current crop of tickets but won’t elaborate on what drives his zeal. “They’re in violation of the law,” he says. “My statement is, Would you like a copy of the law?”