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Concerns rising over moped fatalities in South Carolina

Thanks to rising gas prices and increased environmental awareness, more people across South Carolina have opted to leave their vehicles in their garages and utilize alternate forms of transportation, including walking, riding the bus, driving a motorcycle and, of course, riding a moped.

As encouraging as this development has been, people might want to start thinking twice about this final form of green transportation in light of the staggering number of moped crashes and fatalities here in the Palmetto State.

Just how many serious and fatal moped accidents have there been?

Statistics show that there were 805 accidents involving mopeds in the state last year and that 32 people lost their lives in these crashes.

To put this in perspective, consider that were 191 moped accidents in neighboring Georgia in 2014 and only three fatalities. Indeed, South Carolina's total number of moped accidents and fatalities in 2014 was actually higher than the last three years of combined moped accidents and fatalities in Georgia.

Why are there so many more moped accidents in South Carolina?

According to law enforcement officials, the problem can be attributed largely to several loopholes or oversights in state law, including:

  • Mopeds aren't classified as motor vehicles, meaning drivers can't face drunk driving charges.
  • Moped drivers are only required to wear eye protection, not helmets.
  • Moped drivers are permitted to travel on roads that have posted speed limits of up to 55 miles-per-hour despite being unable to travel any faster than 35 miles-per-hour.

Are lawmakers aware of this deadly problem?

Yes. It appears that a number of moped safety bills are being considered during the current legislative session. While some of these bills call for minor adjustments to the law, others call for more drastic measures. Indeed, one seeks to ban mopeds from the road altogether.

According to experts, however, any new moped restrictions passed by state lawmakers would likely be more moderate, perhaps enacting limits on road use and/or mandating helmet use.

Stay tuned for updates and please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you've lost a loved one in an accident caused by the recklessness of another.     

Philpot Law Firm, PA
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Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
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