Raleigh, N.C. — The Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would require moped owners to register their vehicles with the state and carry liability insurance.
After the 36-11 vote, the measure heads back to the House, which had dropped the insurance requirement from the bill before approving it last month.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, noted that the number of crashes involving mopeds has climbed steadily in recent years, and the new requirements would ensure that, "when we share the roads with them, they are as protected as we are."
Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, tried to strip the insurance provision out of the bill, noting that many moped owners can't drive a car, either because they can't afford one or because they lost their driver's licenses, and the scooters provide a way to get to work or school.
"We need to be mindful of the fact that it provides a viable means of transportation," McKissick said, noting that no other state in the Southeast requires insurance on mopeds.
He pushed for either a state study of the impact of moped insurance or delaying the requirement until December 2015.
"We can keep kicking this can down the road and make those of us who purchase insurance for our vehicles keep paying for those who don't," Apodaca said in urging senators to reject McKissick's proposals.
Both amendments failed.