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North Carolina House considers moped bill, changes made

The House of Representatives in North Carolina passed a bill in the middle of June that would have required moped operators to have liability insurance. That bill has seen some changes while in committee, including dropping the insurance requirement.

Currently, the state laws governing the operation of a moped are quite different from those for motorcycles. Liability insurance, vehicle registration and a valid driver’s license are not required to operate most mopeds. House Bill 1145, which was sponsored by Rep. Chris Millis, originally sought to require registration and liability insurance for mopeds.

The reason that liability insurance was dropped from the bill is because Rep. Millis said a study is needed. Insurance companies normally require drivers to have a valid driver’s license. This is so they can see a person’s driving history. That is what is used by insurance companies to set the cost of coverage. Right now, moped drivers only need to be 16 years old in order to operate the vehicle on a public road.

One provision in the bill that did stay was requiring registration for mopeds. The cost would be $18, which is the same as for motorcycles. Helmet use is already required for moped operators, and a moped is not supposed to be able to go faster than 30 mph.

The report, if the bill passes as it now stands, should be ready for the 2015 legislative session. However, there are some legislators who believe that regulating mopeds too much could cause financial and other hardships for some North Carolinians. A moped is one of only a very limited number of options these people may have to get to work.

Even if mopeds are not required to carry liability insurance, they are on North Carolina’s roads along with much larger vehicles. Victims of moped and motorcycle accidents have a right to pursue compensation from at-fault drivers for many civil claims, including loss of wages, pain and suffering and even wrongful death.

Source: Source: portcitydaily.com, "Moped bill amended, no longer requires insurance," Ben Brown, June 24, 2014

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