No practical need for moped regulations

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A bill approved by the N.C. House last week takes the unusual step of requiring owners of mopeds to register their vehicles with the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Under the legislation, owners of mopeds would have to pay a $40 title fee and a $15 or $22 registration fee and fasten a license plate to the vehicle.

Supporters of the bill say the legislation is needed to help law enforcement identify mopeds when they are in an accident or used in a crime. The bill’s primary sponsor, N.C. Rep. Phillip Shepard, R-Onslow, even went so far as to incredulously say, “Many of these (vehicles) are used in illegal activities.”

Put aside the absurdity of the alleged worth of a moped as a getaway vehicle and consider that this bill paves the way for the state some day to require moped owners to obtain driver’s licenses and insurance in order to operate their vehicles. Shepard indeed has declared that the bill is just a starting point as more people use mopeds in the state. The legislation also directs a legislative committee to study whether more regulations are needed.

Critics of the measure correctly argue that the legislation would hurt low-income people who may be trying to get back on their feet after a drunken driving conviction or who cannot afford a car and rely instead on a moped to get back and forth from work.

The DMV estimates that 8,000 mopeds are sold each year in North Carolina and 17,000 mopeds currently are in use on state roads.

If 25,000 mopeds were registered in the first year of the law, that would equal at least $375,000 in registration fee revenue and another $1 million in title fee revenue for the state. That, critics say, is the reason for the bill, not to make roads safer, help law enforcement officers or fight crime.

This bill certainly flies in the face of all the lip service Republican lawmakers like to give to the idea that government already regulates too many facets of people’s lives. Hopefully, the N.C. Senate will take a more reasoned – and reasonable – approach to this legislation and keep it from coming to that chamber’s floor for a vote.


Bad Editorial

For such a one-sided editorial - methings someone at the RMT is a regular moped rider themselves?

For anyone who's been behind these moped riders - there are two kinds: Arrogant, tree-hugging, "I gotta right" idjits who ride in the middle of the lane at a max. of 45mph on a country road and are truly a safety hazzard. Then there are the DWI'ers who after drinking-n-driving already and getting busted - think drinking and two-wheeling is a good idea. Huh?

Mopeds should indeed be registered. It wasn't that long ago the police were giving tickets to motorized wheelchairs on roads because ... it was a motorized vehicle. How is a moped any different from a motorcycle except it can't go faster than 45mph? How?

I abhor regulation - and damn-sure think the gov't needs to stay out of people's lives and taxes us far too much. Maybe this IS a revenue stream for the state - and maybe it's a new regulation: but in this case I think it balances out what should be licensed anyway. It's a motorized vehicle riding on public streets, using gasoline and for the purposes of transportation. "They didn't build that road. Someone else did. And they should help pay for it." - Socialist Democrat Barack Hussein Obama II

If they are going ride our roads - they should register and help pay for them, too!

Disagree !!!!!!!!!!!

I disagree with your article. I think they should be registered,insured and licensed. They are a menace on the highway and an accident waiting to happen. These mopeds have a motor,tires,and gas and are used for transportation which make them a vehicle. They are nothing but transportation for drunk drivers. I have been in a wheelchair all my life because of a drunk driver. So I don't think they deserve any type of vehicle if they are convicted of a dwi. Make them walk thats more then what they offered me by driving drunk !

good editorail

I agree with your editorial. If the reactionaries want to raise more money they should be looking at the 1%, not the poor.

Im for it.

My wifes car got hit by some kid on a moped in the K Mart lot and it cost me $1000 to get the car fixed. The moped was a piece of crap with all the plastic missing or already broken on it from all the other wrecks it was in. They can do alot of damage and evade the police by going through yards and fields and places where cars cant go.. They are a menace

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