Moped registration, insurance required under bill

Posted by Craig Jarvis on July 15, 2014 

Lawmakers are making another push to require mopeds to be registered with the state and to make their owners buy liability insurance.

The Senate Finance committee on Tuesday in a divided vote approved House Bill 1145, which the House approved in June after eliminating the insurance provision, and sent it to the full Senate for a vote.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, said it was a matter of fairness that moped drivers carry insurance just as is required for other motor vehicles.

The bill would make it more costly to drive the relatively low-horsepowered mopeds. Currently, the N.C. Rate Bureau sets a basic price of about $65 a year for insurance. The bill would move coverage to private insurance companies.

A state Department of Insurance representative said a policy would range from $92 a year for a licensed driver with a clear record, up to $380 for someone who has accumulated a significant number of points on their record.

John Hill of Greensboro, representing the N.C. Motorcycle Dealers Association, said there wasn’t a problem with moped safety, and that many low-income people rely on them to get to work.

Hill said he has about 45 mopeds on his lot that he wouldn’t be able to sell if insurance is required and he will have to lay off employees.

The bill is on the full Senate’s calendar for Wednesday.

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