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Moped Laws In South Carolina

October 19, 2017


Mopeds and scooters are a popular form of transportation, particularly for those who have lost their license as the result of a DUI. Unfortunately, with little state regulation regarding licensing or safety protection, accidents involving mopeds are increasingly common. These can result in serious and potentially life threatening personal injuries. The following highlights new moped laws in South Carolina that go into effect next year to help protect riders. We’ll also provide some safety tips to help keep yourself safe while operating a moped.


South Carolina Moped Laws


As law enforcement efforts have resulted in an increase of license suspensions due to DUI offenses, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of people who have turned to mopeds as a form of transportation. Unfortunately, these offer little protection in the event of a collision. The latest statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) show that the number of moped fatalities in our area has more than doubled since 2011.


State lawmakers have spent the past seven years debating the merits of requiring special licenses and safety regulations for moped drivers. A May 2017 US News and World Reports article detailed the effort to close what is referred to as the “liquor-cycle loophole,” in which drunk drivers exchange one form of transportation for another.


The way moped laws in South Carolina currently exist, mopeds are not considered a motor vehicle, and therefore drivers are exempt from licensing, registration, and insurance requirements. Nor are they subject to traffic laws that would prevent them from riding a moped under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is set to change in November 2018. While the law stopped short of requiring mandatory insurance coverage, it does require drivers to obtain a special moped license. If they are caught riding under the influence, the license would be revoked.


Safety Tips For Moped Riders


Mopeds are not only for those who have lost their regular driver’s license as the result of a DUI. Plenty of young people, families, and tourists use motorized bikes and scooters as a way to have fun and as an inexpensive form of transportation. To protect yourself against accidents and injuries when riding, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends following these safety tips:


  • Wear a helmet: The new law only requires it for drivers under 18, but wearing one reduces the risks of severe injuries.

  • Obey all traffic rules: Follow speed limits and pay attention to traffic signs and signals.

  • Know your limits: Mopeds and scooters may not be able to reach higher speeds, so they should not be driven on major highways or interstates.

  • Know your bike: Use caution until you determine how your moped or scooter handles turns or different road and weather conditions.

Been In An Accident? Get Help Today


Contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC for questions about using a moped during a DUI suspension or in the event you are involved in an accident while riding. Our experienced Aiken personal injury and DUI attorneys can advise you on your rights to compensation as well as how changes in the state laws may apply to your situation.



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