Effective November 19, 2018, moped drivers in South Carolina are now required to register with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In the past, moped drivers were not regulated by the state or held liable for penalties for traffic violations. The new laws are expected to significantly reduce the number of moped accidents that occur each year, and improve traffic safety for all drivers on the road.
Under the new laws, owners will be required to register their mopeds with the Department of Motor Vehicles every two years for a fee of $10, and have state issued license plates visibly mounted on their moped. The minimum driving age is raised from 14- to 15-years-old, and all drivers and riders under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets. Maximum speed limits for a moped are capped at 35 miles per hour across the state, except in Myrtle Beach, where the maximum speed limit is 25 miles per hour.
The new laws also restrict mopeds from traveling on roads with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or higher. All drivers must stay in the farthest right-hand lane on multi-lane roads, which will allow other drivers to pass safely.
The new laws also mandate that mopeds follow the rules of the road that apply to all motor vehicles, including obeying mandated speed limits and suffering the consequences of distracted driving and drunk driving.
Moped Owner Reactions
While many moped owners feel the new laws are unnecessary, many are thankful for the added security that state registration will afford. Mopeds are often stolen, broken down, redesigned, and sold. Since they were never officially registered with the state, reclaiming them and proving ownership was difficult. The new laws will enable authorities to trace the ownership of the moped and improve recovery of stolen bikes.
Insurance regulations for mopeds will not change. Owners are exempt from carrying motor vehicle insurance, and will not have to pay property taxes on their bikes. The new laws focus mainly on traffic safety and regulation of individual mopeds. Violators of the new laws can expect to face penalties up to $200 or 30 days in jail for noncompliance.
More Mopeds on the Road
The popularity of mopeds has increased over the past decade, as concerns for the environment and the high cost of fuel and auto insurance have increased. Mopeds serve as affordable transportation for those traveling short distances to work or school. These small bikes can range in price from $200 all the way up to $3,000 for larger models.
The appeal of a moped is great among teenagers that crave independence and freedom before they reach the official automobile driving age. Parents are purchasing mopeds for their children to lighten their burden of providing unending transportation to their teenager’s sports activities, work schedules, and social engagements.
The new moped laws in South Carolina will help keep these young drivers safe by requiring helmets, limiting maximum speed limits, and restricting highway travel.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Victims of Moped Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a moped, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.
Our six office locations in South Carolina serve clients throughout the state, including Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.