Moped related accidents have dramatically increased in the tri-county area within the last couple of months. Not only is this increase alarming, it’s actually responsible for four deaths in March and April. This problem may be a result of the loophole in South Carolina’s DUI Laws along with certain other factors, and here’s why:
Since a moped is not recognized as a motor vehicle, there are certain highway laws that do not apply to them. By state law, a person operating a moped while intoxicated will not be arrested for DUI because they aren’t operating a vehicle that goes over 35 mph. However, mopeds can travel on any highways where the speed limit does not exceed 55 mph. A valid driver’s license is also not required to operate a moped in any state.
Last year alone, 32 people died in moped related accidents. That’s a huge number when taking into consideration how often people see mopeds daily. Although the number of mopeds on the road is increasing, it’s still very small in comparison to actual vehicles.
Local moped shop owners in Charleston spoke with News 2 and said they didn’t believe that mopeds were the cause of most of these accidents. That’s comforting to hear, but it still poses a question on why there is such an increase of accidents involving mopeds.
When operating a vehicle, please be aware of those on mopeds. Take precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and of others. Whether driving on a rural street or on an interstate, always remember: we are sharing the road – keep an eye out for mopeds and bikes!