On Tuesday, February 4 th, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a new bill that would require moped drivers to wear a reflective vest. Additionally, mopeds would have to be equipped with a continuously flashing tail light. The new bill would also prohibit mopeds from driving on roads where the speed limit is more than 45 miles per hour. The bill must go through final approval before being sent to the Senate, and must approved by the governor to become a new law, but South Carolina residents are already expressing their opinions about the proposed ordinance.
“I think it’s probably going to make riding a moped a lot safer here in South Carolina. I also think it’s a horrible encroachment on our civil liberties. This is a state where to ride a motorcycle, you don’t even have to have a helmet,” says moped rider Travis Harmon. Harmon believes safety is important, but that it should be up to the moped rider to decide whether or not to wear the reflective vest.
Representative Bill Whitmire of Walhalla tells of a dangerous personal encounter he had with a moped on a highway. “I was on a 55 mile-an-hour roadway – four lane – and it was almost dark and I came up on a moped doing about 30 [mph]. I barely saw the [tail] light. I tried to switch into the left lane, almost hit another car that was coming up,” he recalls. “[The bill] is mainly to protect not only the moped driver, but the automobile drivers as well.” After this incident, Rep. Whitmire wanted to make a change to moped safety laws and sponsored the new moped safety bill.
Bill Boggs, co-owner of BJ’s Scooter Rentals in Myrtle Beach, believes the bill is a “necessity to keep anyone from getting hurt or killed” on major roadways. He also believes the state could do more by allowing mopeds to go faster than the current legal speed of 25 miles per hour. “If the state allowed them to keep up with the flow of traffic, then that would be better for everyone,” said Boggs.
For more information about moped safety laws, contact the legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. If you’ve been injured in a moped accident in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, or anywhere in South Carolina, you can call our office 24/7 for a free case review.