COLUMBIA, S.C. - The SC House passed a bill Tuesday that would require moped drivers to wear reflective vests and the moped itself will have to have a continuous flashing taillight while in motion.
"I was on a 55 mile-an-hour roadway, four-lane, and it was almost dark and I came up on a moped doing about 30. And I barely saw the light. I tried to switch to the left lane, almost hit another car that was coming up," says Rep. Bill Whitmire, R-Walhalla. "So it's mainly to protect not only the moped driver but the automobile drivers as well."
After this encounter Whitmire wanted to make changes to moped safety and sponsored this bill. Some believed the bill was going a bit too far.
"There's a difference between requiring the equipment of a vehicle, to have certain safety precautions. I think it's a different step if you require the rider of that to have vests or helmets or what not. So to me, it just is incremental step to those kinds of things," says Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington.
The bill would also make it illegal to mopeds driving on roads where the speed limit is more than 45 mph. Moped rider Travis Harmon understands safety is important, but it should remain a personal choice to wear the reflective vest.
"I think it's probably going to make riding a moped a lot safer here in South Carolina. I also think it's a horrible encroachment on our civil liberties. This is a state where to ride a motorcycle you don't even have to have a helmet," says Harmon.
The bill has to go through a final approval before being sent to the Senate and approved by the governor to become a law.