NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the cause of a fatal accident on Highway 74/76 near Brunswick River, but troopers tell WECT.com that the moped involved should not have been there.
Sgt. Harris with SHP explained Tuesday why it is illegal for the two-wheeled vehicles to be on state highways, where the minimum speed limit is 45 miles per hour.
A moped cannot exceed 30 miles per hour on a flat surface, so any moped that's traveling faster than that is no longer considered a moped. It is now a motorcycle, which comes with the responsibilities of insurance, registration and a license.
"We want to keep similar speed vehicles on similar roads," said Harris.
Anyone driving a moped on a highway can be cited for impeding traffic, according to Harris.
Driving on roads within city limits could also warrant a fine from Wilmington Police Department. Detective Kevin Smith said it is the same situation on popular roads like College or Oleander.
"If you're slowing down traffic it can be a problem," he said.
Smith said drivers who cannot keep up with traffic flow should stay to the side of the right lane. Switching lanes, speeding and driving without a NCDOT approved helmet are also ticket-worthy offenses.
Officers are focused on law enforcement, but Smith said the most important aspect is driver awareness.
"In a contest between a 200 pound moped and a 5,000 pound car, the moped's just not going win," Smith said.
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