HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A lawmaker wants to ban mopeds on South Carolina state roads. Representative David Hiott pre-filed a bill in the state house that clearly states, "No person may operate a moped on the public highways and streets of this State."
Last year, 23 people were killed in the state; so far this year, 28 people have died in moped-related accidents. Of the 640 crashes with mopeds this year, 90-percent of the time the moped driver or rider was injured. And if you compare Florence and Horry Counties, the closer you get to the coast, the more crashes you'll see.
Employees of Go Fast Scooters, a Myrtle Beach shop that rents, sells and repairs mopeds, are not in favor of the bill. One employee rode into work on a moped, herself, and said a ban would put people out of work, take away their only mode of transportation and cause a major upset in an area where riding mopeds is extremely common - especially for tourists.
"It's gonna be heartfelt, I mean because, that's a lot of people's livelihood, that's their means of transportation, you know," said Anita Stanley, an employee of Go Fast Scooters. "Some people don't have a vehicle and for them to be able to get around on a moped, that is their only way to be able to get out there, to go to their appointments."
Another bill state leaders are trying to push for the new year, is for it to be a requirement mopeds be registered and have insurance. Some moped users are worried that requiring insurance could make it completely unaffordable to use a moped at all. This bill is pre-filed in the Senate, and a third bill would require riders to wear yellow reflective vests for safety.
"They should be allowed to be registered and insured, you know for myself, we have insurance on ours anyways, but if somebody goes out here and gets into an accident, at least they're going to be covered so therefore I think with all the accidents the deaths and everything, that's one of the reasons why they're trying to ban it," said Stanley.
Representative Hiott says mopeds aren't made to go faster than 35 miles per hour and therefore should not be on state roads where they can't keep up with traffic. Hiott's bill will be revisited when state leaders head back into session in the new year.