Senate slips insurance requirement back into moped bill

Posted June 25, 2014

— A Senate committee on Wednesday reinserted an insurance provision into a bill requiring moped owners to register their vehicles with the Division of Motor Vehicles.

The House last week stripped out the provision in House Bill 1145 calling for moped owners to carry liability insurance because of questions about their ability to obtain coverage, said Rep. Phil Shepard, R-Onslow. The insurance issue was to be studied in the coming months so lawmakers could take another look at it next year, he told the Senate Insurance Committee.

"There's a lot of concern we all have about these (vehicles), but right now, we have no oversight," Shepard said. "We've got to start somewhere."

Senators said, however, that they don't think the bill goes far enough and suggested the study also look into annual safety inspections for mopeds, similar to those for cars and trucks.

"What's the status of requiring lights that work at night?" asked Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba. "They just come out of nowhere. ... It's worse than a bicycle."

"Why do we need a study to say lights are needed at night?" asked Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon.

Other committee members shared stories of knowing someone involved in a crash with a moped, and their insurance had to pay for the damage because the moped driver had no coverage.

Tim Lucas, a manager with the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents insurers in setting rates on policies, said an experienced moped driver with a clean record could probably obtain liability coverage for $65 a year. The cost would jump to $300 to $400 for a driver with a drunken driving conviction, he said.

John Hall of the North Carolina Motorcycle Dealers Association urged senators to stick with the House bill. His organization has pushed for years to get mopeds licensed and registered, he said, but getting operators insured is another matter.

"A lot of people (driving mopeds) have no driver's license, so there's no ability to rate them (for insurance)," Hall said, noting other states that have tried to require insurance have run into similar problems.

If the bill passes the full Senate and the House agrees to the insurance change, the new requirements would take effect next July.


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  • findoutthefacts Jun 26, 2014

    why do people keep saying that a moped is some people's last resort for transportation...ever heard of the bus system?

  • Thomas Fenske Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    "I think they should leave it alone. For some people this is the last resort to get to work. Give them a chance."
    It is a last resort because they did not learn their lesson the first time, when the law gave them a chance. A driver with two or more offenses is your typical moped driver. And you see mopeds parked outside bars all the time so there have been no lessons learned.

  • Thomas Fenske Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    Of course, the simplest solution would be to just remove the "moped" distinction. It has wheels and an engine, call it a motorcycle and let it be governed by the same registration/insurance/license requirements.

  • Todd Jenkins Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    Leave it to the bureaucrats to figure a way to get revenue tied to it.

  • Thomas Fenske Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    Seriously, the suggestion of a safety inspection is the key to this entire issue. Sure, add a cursory registration too ... but understand this: the current law is not fully enforced and a safety inspection requirement could help remedy that. A simple test drive would determine if the vehicle could go faster than 30mph. No matter what the engine size is, if it can go faster than 30MPH it is required to be classified as a motorcycle and requires a license, registration and insurance. I don't know how they determined 50cc to be the dividing line because engines that size can easily exceed 30MPH.
    In short, we don't need a new law, we just need enforcement of the current law.

  • foodstamptrader Jun 26, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Unless you get hit, and your vehicle or body damaged by one of these irresponsible scooter drivers. Then you might be glad they have insurance.

  • foodstamptrader Jun 26, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Bicycles are not motorized vehicles. I would syuggest any motorized vehicle capable of maneuvering and keeping up with traffic on public streets needs to be licensed, registered and insured. Operators need a DL as well. Why single these vehicles out for special treatment?

  • Dennis Strickland Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    Driving down certain highways in and around Raleigh there are mopeds that cause dangerous driving conditions during peak traffic. I say make them register their vehicles and they need to carry insurance for their vehicles. If they use the roadways they need to help maintain them as well.

  • bottleworks Jun 25, 2014

    Funny how republicans claim they are for "small govt", but keep creating more and more intrusive laws.

  • Thomas Hannan Jun 25, 2014
    user avatar

    TAX MAN - "Just treat them like any motorcycle. Title, register, insure, safety inspections, lights, horn. If they cannot travel at the posted speed they should not be on that road! They need to be treated just like all other motor vehicles and you must have a DL to drive one!"

    What about bicycles? They meet your criteria.