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Not so fast: State law now requires all moped drivers to be insured

Over the last few years, many people here in North Carolina have eschewed more traditional modes of transportation -- cars, trucks, SUVs -- in favor of their smaller and decidedly more efficient counterparts -- motorcycles, bicycles, buses. While the reasons for taking this step vary, with some people citing environmental concerns, others citing financial incentives and still others citing health benefits, it's safe to say that we're going to see this trend continue.

It's worth noting that some people have taken this commitment to change even further by adopting an alternate mode of transportation that was heretofore favored only by college students looking for a way to get across campus in a hurry: mopeds.

If you don't believe it, consider that statistics from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles reveal that there are now almost 27,000 registered moped owners in the state, a number that suggests ridership has long since expanded beyond the residents of colleges and universities.

Interestingly enough, thanks to a new state law that took effect less than two weeks ago, all of these moped drivers are now required to carry minimum liability insurance.

Specifically, the new state law requires moped owners to carry at least $30,000 for bodily injury, $25,000 for property damage and $60,000 for bodily injury to more than one person.

While the law was enacted to help protect moped drivers and rectify those scenarios in which motorists or pedestrians were harmed in motor vehicle accidents but unable to seek redress, it has not been well received.

Indeed, the chief complaint seems to the $150 to $200 annual insurance premium that moped drivers must now cover and the fact that many insurers won't even sell policies to those moped drivers without a license, which is not required under state law for anyone over 16.

It remains to be seen how this new insurance requirement will affect the heretofore growing ranks of moped drivers in the Tar Heel State, as well as the legal landscape.

Stay tuned for updates ...

If you've been seriously injured in any sort of motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and your options.

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