North Carolina call to action!

Mon, Apr 6, 2009


This comes from Josh Alleman (of Scooter Vita) a vocal scooter activist from North Carolina who is concerned about a new law about to go into effect that would now require insurance and registration for scooters, including those that would normally be classified as mopeds.  Here in Texas it doesn’t matter, you’ve gotta have a license, registration and insurance no matter what.

I’m going to reprint Josh’s message below.  If you live in North Carolina, you might wanna read this:

The lack of local concern here is disappointing to me. This bill is expected to pass in the Senate tomorrow without argument.

Call our Senators!

Burr, Richard – (R – NC) Class III
(202) 224-3154…

Hagan, Kay R. – (D – NC) Class II
(202) 224-6342

If it passes in the Senate, it goes to the House of Representatives. Call your Representatives! What are you doing at the moment? You can probably pick up the phone.

I’m not against insurance and registration for scooters. It only makes sense. Insurance is the problem though, because insurance isn’t given without a driver’s license. If you don’t have a drivers license, you can’t get insurance. If you can’t get insurance you can’t drive a moped or 50cc scooter. Perhaps we need some manner of “moped” endorsement on an ID or something for the folks that don’t have a license.

I’m not for people with DUIs to be on the road drinking. If you get caught on your scooter under the influence, you have abused your last privilege to be on the road (after your regular driver’s license was taken), and you’re done. Walk, ride a bike, take the bus, whatever… There should be zero tolerance for that.

There are MANY of us in the scootering community though, myself included, who aren’t addicts (I’m NOT addicted to scooters! *cough cough*) and we don’t abuse the privilege, and we RELY on our scooters as an economical and fuel efficient means of transportation.

50cc scooters go 30mph out of the factory. Many of them can go a whopping 45 mph if you tinker with them and de-restrict ‘em. Why should we have to have a drivers license on something that is little more powerful than a bicycle?

I’m looking forward to the Winston-Salem meet tonight, and I hope that you all will help me write a petition. Those of you who can’t make it, please do your part for yourselves and your fellow scooterists.


20 Responses to “North Carolina call to action!”

  1. Hans Moleman Says:

    Concerned, Conschmerned. Everybody wants to be an advocate these days. “Ooh, I’m loosing my rights as an American, wah.”

    Insurance SHOULD be mandatory. It’s a good idea.
    Registration should also be mandatory. It helps pay for roads and maintenance and such.


  2. Jeffraham Prestonian Says:

    I reckon I’m confused. Is this a state bill that’s about to pass? If so, contacting Hagen and Burr isn’t going to accomplish much, since they’re the U.S. Senators from NC.

    I don’t have any problem with requiring a valid driver license and a helmet for 50cc and under. The rest is a bit goofy, IMO.


  3. Jeffraham Prestonian Says:

    Still, you NC folx who WANT to talk to Richard Burr… ask him why the hell he’s holding up Tammy Duckworth (Iraq vet, double-amputee, former head of IL vet affairs)’s confirmation to head the Department of Veteran Affairs. So far, he’s declined to comment, and it just doesn’t seem right, to me.


  4. Sploader Says:

    The vast majority of motorcycle accidents are either single vehicle (it falls on the rider to repair their own bike), or caused by other motorists not seeing the motorcycle (cars that are required to carry insurance anyway, and are at fault). Making insurance mandatory just adds needless expense to motorcycling, and quite frankly, looks like a revenue-grab by the state.


  5. Tim Says:

    Insurance is not a needless expense. If you have an accident I want you to have insurance to offset the medical bills you collect because the community should not have to pay for your accident.

    As Steve said, here in Texas, insurance, license and registration are required for any motor vehicle using the public streets. I think that is the way it should be.


  6. Leo Says:

    These governments always pretends to care about our interests. They really just want to have another way to keep the sheeple under their thumb. This comes as no surprise since insurance companies all over are trying to keep from going under and the government had to intervene. On 125cc’s and up yeah it makes sense because they can go fast enough to seriously injure someone, but on a bloody 50cc ‘ped? Come on! Anyone who hasn’t been lobotomized would know that its most derestricted and modified you may be able to squeeze 35-40 on it’s best day and that’s with a 125 lb. butt naked waif astride it. Now this next statement may offend some Carolinians but those senators need to do more to regulate the DRIVERS in that state. When I see a North Carolina tag in front of me I give them plenty of space, simply because their driving scares that living crap out of me. And that’s not easy to do. Granted we have some real screwballs behind the wheels here in ‘Bama as well, but I’ve got friends in Raleigh and they have said that up there resides possibly the worst drivers in the COUNTRY. If anyone is offended, believe me that was not my intent and I’ll apologize about that, but hey I’m being real and I’m sure that there is someone out there that has experienced the same, whether they want to say it or not.


  7. Leo Says:

    Oops, please pardon the grammmatical errors. The Coffee hasn’t kicked in yet!


  8. Sploader Says:

    Auto/motorcycle insurance generally doesn’t cover your medical bills, just the cost of someone you hurt. When you dump your bike, the community won’t chip in to fix it either. You’re thinking of health insurance. Ironically which is not recovered by law to buy, although you’d be a fool to live without it. They can’t legislate that you pay a hefty fee for the privelege of living. When it comes to your freedom of movement… They can charge you whatever they want.


  9. Tim Says:

    Here in Texas the minimum insurance you can have is liability insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage –


  10. hans moleman Says:

    I still feel 50cc insurance is a good idea.

    A noob can loose control and run into pedestrians. An experienced rider can slip on gravel and take out a bicyclist. A downed rider in the middle of the road could cause traffic to swerve into other traffic, causing major problems.

    How much is liability for a 50cc scooter anyway? $30 per year?
    $45 per year?

    A drivers license should also be mandatory. How else can you prove the scooter rider knows the rules of the road. For that matter, I also feel ALL 2 wheeled vehicles (including 50′s) should require an endorsement in addition to a license. I’ve seen more than a few newbies get target fixation and crash, wander into oncoming lanes in corners and glide through intersections because they are too scared to use their brakes.

    I think North Carolina is really behind the times.


  11. Anonymous Says:

    living in NC and riding scooters, I’m glad this is finally coming. I feel that I have to defend myself when riding my 150cc scooter because of all of the idiots riding 50cc scooters that don’t obey rules of the road. People confuse me for a slow moped.

    I frequently find 50ccers lane splitting at lights, running lights when cars are stopped instead of waiting for the green, and holding up traffic. I hope this would keep some of the lawlessness off the streets.

    It is unfortunate that it costs a few bucks to these people, but the costs outweigh the benefits in my opinion.


  12. GenWaylaid Says:

    What concerns me most is what increasing restrictions could do to the scooter community in the future.

    The danger with adding requirements for operating a 50cc machine is that it discourages people from even trying to ride a scooter. Some of the people who start on 50cc machines will go on to become long-time scooterists, but not if they never start riding in the first place.

    Purchasers of small displacement scooters and mopeds are extremely cost-sensitive. Registration must be kept as cheap as possible. Insurance must be kept as cheap as possible.

    If we’re talking about simple third-party liability insurance, then hopefully the insurer will treat small-displacement machines separately and the rates won’t be too bad. I usually see around $100 a year. For potential riders who balk at the price of a helmet, though, that can seem like a lot.

    The biggest deterrent to getting new riders on 50cc scooters would be requiring a motorcycle endorsement. That would be seen as a major hassle. I’m even in favor of letting teenagers who are too young to drive get a “moped license” for stock 50cc machines. Historically, that seems to be one of the most effective ways to get people to fall in love with riding.


  13. Dandee Says:

    I think if you drive your vehicle 50cc or not, you should at least have to past a test that says you at some point understood the rules of traffic. Just because you can balance and twist the throttle doesnt mean you should be free to mingle with other vehicles. In the end its safety that comes out of it, yours and mine.


  14. Anonymous Says:

    “Why should we have to have a drivers license on something that is little more powerful than a bicycle? “

    Are you serious? Go out and ride a bike at 30mph for a few miles and then comment on how a scooter is only slightly faster. A very fit and strong bicycle rider can put out less than half a horsepower for a short time. Compare that to about 4hp for a scooter.
    Frankly, I’m shocked NC doesn’t have these rules already.


  15. Orin Says:

    Sorry, I think everybody on the road should have a driver’s license, every vehicle operated on a public road should have a license plate and insurance. And everybody who rides a motorized 2-wheeler should have a motorcycle endorsement, and be required to take a basic safety course to get the endorsement. If you expect to be taken seriously by your fellow road users, you should follow the same rules, and jump through the same hoops…

    Scootin’ Old Skool


  16. ScooterScoop Says:

    GREAT feedback here guys/gals. I find my opinion sorta wavering here on the fence (using my arms to balance) but I'm beginning to make up my mind on it. This conversation also makes me wonder how they will handle electric bikes that go 45mph+.

    Do you reward people for riding electric and make it easy & cheap as possible to ride them? OR do you make them follow all the same rules for a more homogeneous road experience?


  17. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “Anyone who hasn’t been lobotomized would know that its most derestricted and modified you may be able to squeeze 35-40 on it’s best day and that’s with a 125 lb. butt naked waif astride it.”

    Do you have any idea how badly someone can get messed up only going 35 mph with no gear? In comparison, NHTSA does all it’s automotive crash testing at 35.


  18. Scooters Says:

    Jeffraham was right. This is a State Legislation thing, not a federal one. You should contacting your state representatives if you don’t want to have to register or insure your scooter. The North Carolina General Assembly would be the place to start. Their website is


  19. Natives MC Says:

    I agree with you Leo, we do have some of the worst drivers in the country. But they weren’t born here, so please take them back… seriously… please.


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