A popular moped bill that passed both the South Carolina State House and Senate chambers died on Governor Nikki Haley’s desk earlier this month. If passed into law, the bill would have levied new regulations against moped drivers.
Under current South Carolina code, traffic laws applying to motor vehicles do not apply to mopeds. That loophole means that a person “can be stinking drunk on a moped and can’t be arrested,” in the words of State Sen. Greg Hembree. Someone can also operate a moped on a highway even though the maximum legal speed of such a vehicle is only 30 mph.
Fifty people died in 2015 from moped accidents in South Carolina, and 16 more have died so far in 2016. Legislators will need to push for more concrete definitions and a bare minimum of control over moped operation if they hope to reduce these fatalities in the future.