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Surgeons seek North Carolina driver's license law for mopeds

Doctors in North Carolina are urging state lawmakers to require people who ride a moped be licensed to drive a motor vehicle in the state. North Carolina is one of six states that do not require a person on a moped to have a valid license, according to General Surgery News. A few states require people to obtain a moped license, which in those states is handled separately from a traditional driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle.

The surgeons say that allowing people to ride a moped without a valid driver’s license is a public safety issue. The recommendation is based upon research of moped and motorcycle accidents conducted by a group of doctors. Apparently, the surgeons compared prior conviction rates of moped riders and motorcyclists who were injured in an accident.

The doctors say that 249 moped riders between January 2005 and October 2010 were included in the research. The study suggests that 49 percent of the moped riders had a prior conviction for driving while impaired. Based at least in part on that information (as well as other prior criminal or traffic –related issues), the surgeons conclude that requiring driver’s licenses for moped riders would increase public safety.

The surgeons claim that moped riders were more likely than motorcyclists to be under the influence after a moped crash. Notably, as our Pitt County area readers are likely aware, prosecutors can pursue DWI charges in North Carolina based upon evidence that a moped rider was legally impaired while operating the bike in a public place.

Source: General Surgery News, “N.C. Surgeons Call for License Requirement for Moped Drivers,” Christina Frangou, April 2014

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