Legislation that would require South Carolina moped drivers to wear reflective vests at night is headed to the state Senate floor.
Bill sponsor State Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Horry, said that vests can be bought for as little as $4.50. “I guess I see the reflective vests are such a great cost benefit device,” Hembree said. “It’s just your basic sleeveless vest that you see on construction workers on the side of the road.”
The bill could face opposition in the Senate. State Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, has said requiring moped owners to wear the vests is a needless requirement, especially for poor drivers. “The vest is an issue for me. I am concerned about the vest and the bells and whistles we require,” Malloy said. “I really have heartburn about this reflective vest. I really hope you will take it off.”
The requirement of the vest was not taken off the legislation during a Senate Transportation Committee meeting last week and the legislation moved forward.
Hembree said that the vests will supplement what is already required. “They have to have a light, turn singles, operational tail and headlights. They have to keep them on all the time. So there is that piece of it too,” said Hembree.
In addition to the vests, the legislation would require drivers under 21 wear a helmet, while those aged 16 and younger would not be able to operate a moped at night unless accompanied by an adult with at least a year of driving experience.
The bill is identical to one that passed both houses last year but was vetoed by Gov. Nikki Haley, who considered it government overreach.