Raleigh, N.C. — Those driving mopeds would have to carry insurance in order to drive on state roads under a bill that took another step closer to passage Thursday.
"It's all about accountability and responsibility," Rep. Phil Shepard, R-Onslow, told the Senate Insurance Committee.
The debate over insuring moped riders has raged at the General Assembly for years. Proponents say that, if people are riding on state roads, they should have a way of taking responsibility for accidents in which they are involved. Opponents worry that the measure will drive up the cost of owning a moped and could make it hard for some riders, particularly those who have lost driver's licenses and rely on mopeds, to legally operate the bikes.
"I don't want to get to the point where those who have had (drunken driving charges) cannot get covered," Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, said, adding that he is "more comfortable" with the bill than in past legislative sessions.
McKissick asked how many people the new requirement would affect, but Shepard said he doesn't know.
A new requirement that mopeds be registered with the state goes into effect this year.
Should House Bill 148 become law, the insurance requirement would go into effect July 1, 2016.
The bill's next stop is the Senate floor.