EASLEY — Sen. Rex Rice and Rep. Neal Collins met with members of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce on Thursday to inform community members on issues the two faced in their roles in Columbia.
“Honestly, and wish my friend and colleague Judge Clary was here today because the thing we spent — and if you would have told me beforehand, I wouldn’t have believed you — but we spent so much time dealing with mopeds of all things,” said Collins. “Mopeds …”
The moped bill Collins was referring to was the 40-plus pages of legislation that determined what exactly a moped was, where it was allowed to be operated and secured what measures of recourse (car) drivers had in case of an accident.
“We had four different definitions of a moped in state law, we now have one,” he said. “Because of the four definitions, police officers couldn’t pull over the mopeds and they couldn’t enforce any of the traffic regulations. In theory, you could drive down the street with no lights on in the middle of the night with an open six pack and they couldn’t do anything.”
Collins said the 18 month implementation period was largely to allow insurance companies time to adjust to the new coverages as well as to give the DMV time to issue moped licences — an agency that already has a lot on its plate with the passing of the REAL ID laws.
Rice said the only thing he was disappointed in with the finished bill was there was no mandate for moped drivers themselves to carry insurance.
“If they hit you, you don’t really have anything you can do beyond your own policy,” he said. “I mean, you can sue them, but you’re probably only going to take their moped.”
Sen. Rice said one of the things he was most proud of was the increased levels of communication that now exist between the local delegation and the various city and county municipalities.
“School Board, County Council, the Sheriff’s Office — we all talk now,” said Rice. “That communication is key in finding out how we can best help each other get to where we need our area’s to be. Pickens County is moving forward.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.