While any vehicle traveling along a road in North Carolina must obey common traffic laws (such as speed limits, signaling when turning, yielding to oncoming vehicles) some may be subject to laws that vary quite a bit from others. Mopeds, for instance, have a few laws governing them that are different from traditional cars and trucks that share the roadway.
Mopeds, (named for the fact that they can be operated by pedaling OR utilizing their motor) are just one step above bicycles in terms of the speed in which they can travel. In fact, the classification restricts their speed in North Carolina to 30 miles per hour or less on a straight roadway. As such, they are only legal to travel on roads that post maximum speeds close to that number. In addition, here are some rules and laws for mopeds in North Carolina while being operated:
Drivers of mopeds must be at least 16 years old
While the operator of the moped must be 16, they are not required to possess a driver’s license while operating the vehicle
Moped operators, like motorcycle operators, MUST wear a helmet while traveling on North Carolina roads
Moped operators are subject to the same laws concerning driving under the influence as are cars and motorcycles
A recently passed North Carolina law states that moped operators must carry liability insurance on their mopeds
This last item is of extreme importance to anyone who travels by moped as failure to maintain an active liability insurance policy could result in large fines and possibly they are having to pay out of pocket for any damage or injuries that result from the fault of the moped driver. In fact, this is exactly what liability insurance was designed to do.
If you are at fault in an accident, it is the liability portion of an insurance policy that will act to protect you financially. There are two main components of liability policies. The first is for BODILY INJURY. This means if someone sustained injuries in an accident where you were at fault. The second feature covers PROPERTY DAMAGE, and just like it sounds, it is designed to cover damages to the other vehicle or any property that occurred due to an accident where you were found to be at fault. Current North Carolina laws require moped operators to carry liability policies with minimum coverages of:
$30,000 per person for bodily injury (with a maximum of $60,000 per accident)
$25,000 for personal property
These coverages may be sufficient since a moped generally will not cause as much damage as would an accident with a larger vehicle such as a car or truck, but moped operators can purchase policies with higher limits.
While mopeds are not large vehicles and they maintain speeds that are much lower than those of motorcycles and cars, they are still considered motorized vehicles and can still pose a serious risk of danger to others on the road as well as the moped operator. Because of this, all North Carolina Moped laws are strictly enforced, and it is recommended that anyone operating such a vehicle be well advised of these laws and follow them closely to avoid being fined, or financially responsible due to an at-fault accident.