In the last five years, moped licenses have doubled in South Carolina.
As deaths on mopeds increase, law enforcement is making great efforts
to make the roads safer for mopeds. While mopeds are known to be easy
to drive and economical, law enforcement officials say mopeds offer riders
little protection, which puts them in the same category as bicyclists
In fact, rules for mopeds are extremely different than other vehicles on the road. At this time, mopeds aren't considered motor vehicles. This means that drivers on mopeds aren't allowed to go more than 25 mph and moped drivers who have been drinking aren't charged with a DUI. Moped drivers also don't need to register their vehicles or carry insurance.
A South Carolina Senate committee has approved a bill that would close a loophole in the state's DUI law that has allowed moped drivers to drive after drinking. Mopeds are often associated with DUIs because people who lose their license from drunk driving are allowed to drive a moped because it isn't considered a motor vehicle.
"It seems strange, but some magistrates have agreed that the law exempted mopeds from DUI laws," says Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. "So we're absolutely closing that loophole."
The bill will now go on the Senate floor where Sen. Grooms expects it to pass. If it does pass, the House and the Senate will need to reach an agreement on the final version since the Senate changed the House version. On a local level, the South Carolina Highway Patrol will be pushing a new campaign to educate moped drivers about being safe on the road.