The North Carolina House of Representatives rejected a version of the moped bill we discussed in June. The House had finally settled on a bill that would only require that mopeds be registered with the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles. The most recent House vote was on the Senate bill, passed a couple of weeks ago. That bill did not stop with the registration requirement: It also included the insurance requirement that has been the source of much debate.
Currently, there are very few rules dealing with the operation of a moped. A moped, remember, is a two- or three-wheeled motorized vehicle that goes no faster than 30 mph. The state allows mopeds on roads posted at 35 mph, and the operator of a moped must be at least 16 years old. A driver does not need a driver’s test, a license or insurance, and the state does not require either registration or vehicle inspection.
Supporters say that the bill is about “responsibility and accountability.” First, they claim that mopeds have been involved in a number of accidents with other vehicles, and that puts the burden of paying for injuries or repairs on the insured — and possibly innocent — party. And, without registration, police have no way to track down a moped that causes damage or harm and then leaves the scene.
Second, proponents claim that mopeds are being used to commit crimes. Registration would, again, make it easier for law enforcement to track down the vehicle.
Opponents have answers to both arguments. We’ll get into them more in our next post.
Insurance Journal, “North Carolina House, Senate At Odds Over Insurance Mandate in Moped Bill,” July 27, 2014
Insurance Journal, “North Carolina Senate Approves Moped Insurance Bill,” Andrew G. Simpson, July 17, 2014