A roundup of what’s making news in South Carolina state government.
A state Senate committee will take up legislation Wednesday morning that tries close a loophole which currently exempts moped drivers from South Carolina traffic laws, particularly DUI laws.
State Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Horry, said mopeds are not classified as “motor vehicles” under state statute, meaning they are not technically covered by laws against operating while drunk. “A person can be falling down drunk, then get on a moped and ride down Highway 17 in 5:00 traffic and be weaving all over the road and they cannot be arrested for DUI,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “That clearly was an unintended consequence when they were drafting previous versions of the moped definition.”
He said the loophole is particularly troubling since drivers who have lost their driver’s licenses due to previous DUI convictions are still allowed to operate mopeds.
The Senate Transportation Committee will consider the bill Wednesday, one day after a subcommittee advanced it from a Tuesday hearing. The measure cleared the House last month.
It’s one of a handful of bills that deal with mopeds, which are relatively unregulated in South Carolina compared to other powered vehicles. Similar bills being considered in the Statehouse would require a moped driver to have a license and carry insurance. Another that passed the House earlier this session would not allow mopeds on roads with a speed limit above 45 miles per hour. [Read more…]