Vulnerable Roadway Users

Moped Operators

See Also: Motorcycles, Pedestrians, Bicyclists


In South Carolina a moped is defined as a cycle with pedals or without pedals and with a motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters. Its power will not exceed two brake horsepower, and the motor is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground. Moped operators represented 2.7% of the total traffic fatalities in South Carolina from 2008 to 2012 and 3.6% of the severe injuries.


The number of fatal and severe injury collisions involving mopeds increased 116% from 2008 (88 collisions) to 2012 (190 collisions). Moped fatalities have almost quadrupled during the same time period, from 12 in 2008 to 45 in 2012.

Nearly half of moped-involved fatal and severe injury collisions occurred on primary roads (46%), more than one-third (38%) occurred on secondary roads, and the remainder occurred on county and interstate roads. More than half of moped-involved fatal and severe injury collisions occurred when lighting conditions were reported as “daylight” on the collision report form.

In fatal collisions involving a moped and at least one other vehicle, moped operators were shown to have contributed to the collision 59% of the time, compared to the other driver at 51%. It is important to note that an officer completing the collision report form can indicate more than one driver contributed to the collision; therefore the percentages presented in the table below should not be added together.

In South Carolina, to operate a moped on the public highways and streets, the driver must be at least 14 years of age, have a valid driver’s license/motorcycle license, a permit, or a valid moped operator’s license. A person whose driver’s license has been suspended for six months or less is not required to obtain a moped operator’s license or possess a valid driver’s license during the period of suspension when operating a moped.


Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency Management Services

1 Enforce moped laws.


1.1   Target enforcement efforts in counties with a high number of moped fatal/severe injury crashes.

Implementation Area(s):  Enforcement


2 Increase education.


2.1   Provide training and education for moped operators.

Implementation Area(s):  Education

2.2  Explore possibility of providing education information to moped retail and rental companies.

Implementation Area(s):  Education

3 Legislative review.


3.1   Review current legislation and encourage revisions for improvement.

Implementation Area(s):  Public Policy