Governor McMaster signs law banning mopeds from high-speed roads

(WPDE file image)

Gov. Henry McMaster has signed a new moped safety law that limits mopeds to roads where the posted speed limit is below 55 mph and adopts a unified definition of mopeds that subjects them to the same traffic laws as all other vehicles.

The newly signed bill allows intoxicated moped drivers to be prosecuted for drunken driving.

Related: State lawmakers pass moped safety bill to restrict roads, require safety gear

It also requires teens to wear a helmet.

McMaster's signature Friday caps a seven-year effort to close the "liquor-cycle" loophole.

His predecessor, Nikki Haley, vetoed a similar measure last year, calling it government overreach to require reflective vests for nighttime driving and helmets for drivers under 21. The compromise sent to McMaster's desk removed the vest requirement.

Republican Sen. Greg Hembree of North Myrtle Beach says lives will be saved. The former prosecutor has been pushing for moped safety legislation for years.

The state Department of Public Safety says 41 moped drivers were killed last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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