Most states require mo-ped operators to have a driver’s license, registration, insurance or some combination of the three – requirements not shared by North Carolina.
Because North Carolina does not mandate licensure to operate mo-peds, officials suspect that motorists who have lost their license due to a drunk driving conviction are simply turning to mo-peds for their transportation needs. Unfortunately though, it appears that these North Carolina drivers are simply causing drunk driving accidents on mo-peds instead of in cars.
WRAL News recently reported that North Carolina officials believe that 10.5 percent of mo-ped crashes in 2010 involved a mo-ped driver who was impaired, according to the most recent numbers available. This rate is four times the rate for car drivers and three times the rate for pickup drivers.
Also, according to data reviewed by WRAL, mo-ped crashes rose from 239 in 2001 to 671 in 2010 – during a time when almost all other types of motor vehicle crashes were dropping.
In addition, police in Raleigh have charged 33 drivers operating mo-peds with DWI’s since January of 2011 – more than 60 percent of which were repeat offenders. Conversely, studies have shown that the general nationwide rate of repeat offenders is somewhere between 30 and 40 percent.
Often times, drivers involved in accidents with mo-ped drivers are left holding the bag since mo-peds are not required to have insurance in North Carolina – not to mention many believe that drivers convicted of drunk driving should not be on the road in the first place. Because of these concerns, some lawmakers are pushing for mo-ped requirements that mandate both insurance and registration for any scooter with an engine size of 50 cc’s or less.
However, it remains to be seen whether mo-ped drivers will ever require licensure, and until then, motorists with drunk driving convictions will continue to hit the road on mo-peds after their licenses are suspended.
Source: WRAL, “Drunken mo-ped drivers dangerous, but could licenses kill industry?” July 2, 2012