Editorial: N.C. House is sending good bill

Jun. 23, 2014 @ 10:59 PM

Sharing the road has long been important. Whether we are walking or in a vehicle, each of us has a responsibility.

Being on a vehicle — bicycle, motorcycle, moped — is included as well.

The N.C. House of Representatives helped us this week with HB1145. Moped registration requires mopeds to be registered, have titles and insurance.

Like other elements of our society, often the law simply needs updating to keep up with us. Our hope is the Senate and Gov. Pat McCrory will agree.

This isn’t a partisan pony galloping along Jones Street. In the House’s 83-29 approval, Democrats’ ayes were 27-14 and Republicans 56-15.

If the legislation has a target, we’d argue it favors anyone who uses our state’s roads.

Mopeds are fabulous. Motorized power becoming engaged for someone peddling a two-wheeler was the original idea. They’ve evolved, and now essentially are just below the standards for a motorcycle yet with the same concept. Few, if any, are peddled.

They save on fuel. Their popularity is evident on the streets of Henderson and in national sales figures.

Tests in writing and driving skills are required for motorcycles, as well as registration, tags and insurance. Curiously, mopeds have none.

Yet, ride or walk a street in our city, and we can see mopeds darting through traffic, dangerously close to crashes with vehicles and pedestrians. We’ve seen them with an extra rider, no helmet — as recently as last week.

Driving is a privilege, not a Constitutional right. Motorized vehicles on North Carolina’s roads should mean responsibility for all who choose to operate them, from regular cars and trucks to bikes, mopeds and anything else.

Anyone losing their driver’s license should not be able to hop onto another motorized machine with minimal to no regulation and continue operating on our roads. But we know that has been happening for years.

Insured drivers who have found themselves in crashes with uninsured moped drivers know how badly the law needs updating. Bipartisan support from the House shows legislators are beginning to as well.

Registration is $18, the title another $40. Insurance rates will vary.

What shouldn’t vary is the responsibility of everyone when we operate a motorized vehicle on our state’s roads.