House approves insurance requirement for mopeds
Posted April 29, 2015
Updated April 30, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — The state House voted 81-32 late Wednesday night to require those who ride mopeds on public streets to carry insurance starting July 1, 2016.
"We've found an increasing number of incidents with mopeds," said Rep. Phil Shephard, R-Onslow.
The subject of regulating mopeds has been a long-simmering issue at the General Assembly. A bill that passed in 2014 will require North Carolina moped drivers to register their vehicles and put plates on them starting this July.
Opponents of the bill argued that mopeds are a low-cost form of transportion that helps people get to and from work and school. They also point out that a moped is often the only form of transportation that someone who has lost his or her driver's license can use.
"It's no secret why they're out there riding mopeds at 7 a.m.," Rep. Dana Bumgardner, R-Gaston, said of the small bikes, which are limited to going 35 mph and exposed to the elements.
Bumgardner questioned whether moped riders, particularly those who had lost their licenses due to drinking and driving, would be able to obtain insurance.
"What are these people going to do to get around?" he asked.
But Shepard insisted insurance companies would write policies. During committee hearings, costs estimates have varied widely on how much those polices would cost.
The measure will now go to the Senate, which historically has favored requiring insurance.