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Moped insurance bill moves ahead

Posted March 24, 2015

— A bill that would require moped owners to have insurance narrowly won approval from the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 148 would require moped drivers to carry liability insurance as of July 1, 2016.

Bill sponsor Rep. Phil Shepard, R-Onslow, said he's sympathetic to critics who say it will add another burden on moped drivers who are already struggling to get to jobs or to school. But he said the problem of moped-car accidents continues to rise, and car owners are left to pay the bills because the mopeds aren't insured.

"All I’m saying, not everybody that’s driving a moped is out there doing the right things," Shepard said. "I think the least we can do is require them to be responsible."

"We demand that the majority of our citizens in this state be responsible," agreed co-sponsor Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson. "Why are we permitting a subgroup to be irresponsible?"

Sponsors said the price for liability insurance on a moped could cost anywhere from $90 a year as a second vehicle on a policy with a clean driving record to $380 for drivers with no other vehicle and a history of driving while impaired.

"The only people riding these little scooters are people who don’t have insurance," pointed out Rep, Michael Speciale, R-Craven.

"If the risk is too great for an insurance company to take, then it’s too great for us to take," said co-sponosr Rep. Jay Adams, R-Catawba. "The information that I've looked at points to a high level of irresponsibility on the part of these moped riders."

"These under 50cc [mopeds] are used mostly by people who have lost their license, and this is how they get to work," Speciale said. "We’re going to force people onto bicycles, and then we’re going to have bicycles running into cars, and then we’re going say we need to register and insure them."

A second part of the bill that would have required safety inspections was removed by an amendment by Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke, despite support from the North Carolina Association of Police Chiefs.

"Insurance may be arguably a good thing, but there’s no evidence we’ve been presented – other than maybe anecdotal – that defective mopeds are causing any kind of accidents," Blackwell said. "It’s one more cost on these people we’ve described as being probably in financial straits to begin with."

The bill now moves to the House Insurance Committee.

7 Comments

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  • Andi Rueny Mar 29, 2015
    user avatar

    Oh, SORRY CHARLIE ! My insurance company should not have to pay for my car when a moped hits me and has no insurance.

  • Andi Rueny Mar 29, 2015
    user avatar

    If it uses the highway, it should be taxed. Moped-scooter, and a dad-gum bicycle!!! If I have to treat these groups of cyclists as motorists then they should have to pay taxes just like I do for my motorcycle. They get into groups of 5 or more and ride 3 wide and sometimes 5 deep.

  • Charlie Jaxon Mar 28, 2015
    user avatar

    OMFG! Is there anything that this state is not going to tax? If the state wanted to make money, Then they should have made Marijuana completely LEGAL! Pretty soon they are going to have a pee tax!

  • Collin McLoud Mar 25, 2015
    user avatar

    The terms "moped" and "scooter" have become synonymous and as a result scooter operators are on the roadways illegally. Calling a scooter a "moped" doesn't make it a "moped" no more than calling a shark a "goldfish" simply because it is a fish. Law enforcement are not enforcing the current moped laws already in place. I would imagine because they do not know which moped/scooter are greater than 50cc and which ones are not. The law needs to be changed to All moped & scooters require insurance, vehicle taxes, a drivers license, and insurance.

  • Mike C Mar 25, 2015
    user avatar

    Insurance may be arguably a good thing, but there’s no evidence we’ve been presented – other than maybe anecdotal – that defective mopeds are causing any kind of accidents," Blackwell said. "I
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/moped-insurance-bill-moves-ahead/14536973/#zUXbLF8pIdchY11x.99

    I don't think it is as much 'defective moped' as much as it is defective moped operators causing accidents.

  • Mike C Mar 25, 2015
    user avatar

    IT'S ABOUT TIME :-)

  • Collin McLoud Mar 25, 2015
    user avatar

    Current Law: "A moped cannot have a motor of more than 50 cubic cc, an external shifting device, or have the capability of exceeding 30 miles per hour on a level surface." The problem is that the current law is not being enforced. Most of the scooters I see are way over 50cc and can travel 45 mph. In fact, some scooters are 250cc, the same size as small motorcycle that requires a license and insurance. Secondly, if they allow scooters to drive on the roadways without tags or insurance then why can't go-carts or ATV's? I believe that if it is a motorized vehicle on a travel-way then it should be required to have an inspection, insurance, vehicle tax, and require an operators license. Yes, vehicle tax too, if you are going to use the roadway then you should help pay for it. Thirdly, why would we allow someone who lost their license due to a DUI conviction back on the road on a scooter? You can still be cited for a DUI on a scooter. DUH!