Senate gives initial OK to moped insurance

Posted June 15, 2015

— Moped operators would have to carry insurance in order to drive on state roads under a bill the Senate gave preliminary approval to on Monday.

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.

Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, said requiring insurance could be a hardship on employers whose workers can't afford insurance and would have no other way to get to their jobs.

"The men who have mopeds are not very high on the food chain," Bingham said.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, angrily responded that lawmakers have failed to take action for years, and drivers and their insurers continue to have to pick up the tab for accidents in which mopeds are involved.

"They don't need to be on the road, regardless," Apodaca said, noting many moped operators have already been convicted of drunken driving.

Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, who owns a car dealership, noted that a moped crashed into one of his new cars, causing several thousand dollars in damage, which forced him to have to sell it as a used car.

Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, said there needs to be something in the bill about how much insurance is required, and lawmakers would eventually need to address what kind of training people need before operating a moped.

The bill passed 39-9, and a final vote is expected Tuesday before it heads to the governor.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Melissa Noderer Jun 17, 2015
    user avatar

    It occurred to me that this Republican Legislature would not be against requiring moped operators to wear sticker on their helmets identifying them as "low on the food chain". Kind of like Hester Prynne in the novel "The Scarlett Letter", who was required to wear the letter "A" . She was condemned by her Puritan neighbors. Hmmmmm, I see similarity with our self-righteous legislators as portrayed by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

  • Doug Hanthorn Jun 17, 2015
    user avatar

    I love the way the opponents say that moped drivers shouldn't have to pay for insurance because they can't afford it. Or how mopeds are the only resort for people who have lost their license. Well, excuse me, but you might as well pass a law that says people who can't afford insurance or have lost their license can drive brown cars without insurance, but not any other color. Mopeds are motorized vehicles. Just because they don't go as fast as anything else doesn't change anything.

  • Tammy Rush Jun 17, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    And he calls it a "hardship on employers". Maybe if these employers paid their employees a decent wage they could afford moped insurance?

  • Paul Maxwell Jun 16, 2015
    user avatar

    These are the men and women that we have elected. What is wrong with us?

  • Melissa Noderer Jun 16, 2015
    user avatar

    "The men who have mopeds are not very high on the food chain," Bingham said.

    What an ignorant and insensitive comment made by Stan Bingham, R-Davidson. This is the mean-spirited attitude of our NC legislators. Holier than thou. Don't give anyone a break.
    I'm not disputing the need for moped operators to have insurance, however I am appalled at how a moped operators are referenced in Bingham's remarks.
    Apodaca is not much better. He paints all moped drivers with the same broad bush stroke. Does he have facts to back up his statement that many moped operators have already been convicted of drunk driving?
    These guys are disgusting.