MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach wants to better regulate the thousands of rented mopeds and golf carts riding around the city, but city council members decided Tuesday to hold off on voting on a proposed ordinance that would provide increased regulations.
Under the ordinance, rental companies would be required to do safety checks of their equipment and then get city decals to place on each vehicle certifying it as a rental in Myrtle Beach.
They are then responsible for ensuring the customers are of proper age, have the correct driver's license and are competent in how to operate what they're renting.
Those renting mopeds under the age of 21 are already required to wear helmets through state law, but this ordinance proposes requiring them to also wear orange vests. Anyone renting a moped over the age of 21 would have to wear a yellow vest.
City Manager John Pedersen said those who own mopeds wouldn't have to wear the vests. So, this gives the drivers a warning that a moped operator may be inexperienced.
The main goal of the ordinance is to prevent pop-up moped and golf cart rental operations and increase safety.
However, some think the proposed ordinance goes too far, especially because it establishes potential criminal sanctions if the regulations aren't followed.
"To put a mandate on them that they have to determine competency and then make it a criminal violation if they don't do so, we think is very intrusive and will create a lot of problems," said Jack Scoville, a lawyer for Moped Rentals of Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach staff will continue working on the ordinance and council members will discuss it more in the future.
Also on Tuesday, city council members declared the week of Bikefest to be an extraordinary event and as part of that, the city is banning mopeds and golf carts from being on the road during the traffic loop because those kinds of vehicles died while sitting in traffic last year.
Drivers will have to start getting off the roads that will be part of the traffic loop starting at 6 p.m. then full enforcement will start at 8 p.m.