Proposed bill would require South Carolina moped drivers to wear reflective vests
State Rep. Bill Hixon, R-Aiken, is a sponor of the proposed moped safety bill.
Hawg Scooters owner Daniel Justin Clark thinks a reflective vest is a small price to pay for safety.
By: Ryan Toland
South Carolina House members met Tuesday to discuss a bill that would require all moped drivers to wear a reflective vest and have continually flashing tail lights at all times.
State Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach, authored the bill and says there have been 128 moped deaths in South Carolina since 2011.
"We were at an accident the other day in North Augusta, had a fatality, the lady turned right in front of a moped and hit him and killed him, and said she never saw him. He didn't have any lights on, he didnt have a reflecting vest on," said State Rep. Bill Hixon, R-Aiken, a sponor of the proposed bill.
There are also two other proposed bills involving moped safety that have yet to be discussed by the House. One bill would not allow moped drivers to drive on freeways with speed limits of 45 mph or higher. The other proposed bill would require all moped drivers to have a license, registration and insurance on their moped.
"The vests aren't expensive, but what's a life worth and what's the damage done to someone's mind who kills somebody," said Hixon.
Daniel Justin Clark, owner of Hawg Scooters, says moped sales have increased over the past four years, in large part he believes due to the parking becoming worse and worse on the University of South Carolina campus. Clark says the minimal added expense of won't deter people from buying a moped, and he's all for the proposed bill.
"I don't see why anyone would be opposed to safety, especailly for their own wellbeing. A safety vest might not be cool, but getting run over by a car isn't cool either," said Clark.
Not all moped drivers see the benefits of the bill. Brooks DuBose is a USC senior who commutes to school everyday on his moped.
"I say it's somewhat reasonable, but really I feel like it's not necessary, and it's not going to help altogether, but first off I don't want to pay 20, 30 bucks for a vest that I don't want to wear," he said.
There have been several similar bills involving moped safety that cleared the House in recent years, only to die in the Senate.