NORTH CAROLINA - Rising gas prices have made scooters, mopeds and electric bicycles increasingly popular, but a proposed bill in the North Carolina General Assembly could mean changes for moped drivers.
The bill, sponsored by three Republican State Representatives, would require valid registration, proof of insurance and a license plate.
Moped drivers would have to register their bikes as a motor vehicle in order to apply for a driver's license.
A moped driver doesn't need any of that right now, just a helmet to drive if they're 16 or older.
The House last week voted in favor of the bill after the first reading.
Tommy Ross said he's been driving his moped for three years without a license and opposes the idea.
"Well, I don't think it's right. Right now it's my only way of transportation. Gas wise, they're a lot cheaper on gas. I get at least 100 miles to a gallon," Ross explained.
Trooper Joe Midgette said he is in favor of the proposed law and thinks lawmakers shouldn't stop there.
"Most of us, I believe, would be advocates of taking it a few steps forward such as limiting mopeds to roads that do not have posted speed limits above 35 miles per hour," Midgette said.
He said he rarely deals with any moped drivers that have a valid driver's license.
"Most of the wrecks that involve mopeds, it seems like a lot of times it's their fault and if it is their fault they have no insurance, so then your motor coverage has to pick up the slack," Midgette explained.
Dave Thompson is the sales manager at Craven County Motor Sports.
"A 50 or 49CC scooter is what we sell to those for whatever reason do not have a license," he said.
Thompson said if the bill passed it could hurt sales and right now in this economy a business needs everything it can get.
The bill is now in the hands of the Transportation Committee. Later, will goes to the Finance Committee for review.
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