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New moped bill angers some drivers

By Kenny Choi
Published On: Mar 07 2013 09:43:00 PM HST

Lawmakers gave the green light for a bill that would make it more expensive to operate these machines.

HONOLULU -

Moped riders could soon face a bumpy road ahead.

That's because lawmakers gave the green light for a bill that would make it more expensive to operate these machines.

Corbin Thorneau rides his moped everyday to get to school.

"It makes it really easy to get around.  It's so laid back here.  The moped is the perfect vehicle for that," said Thorneau.

It's a cheap way for students like him to commute without the hassle.

"The registration fee is $15 dollars when you buy the moped and a couple bucks here and there for gas.  It's relatively inexpensive and maybe cheaper than a bus pass for the most part," said Thorneau.

But under house bill 1324, the moped bill introduced by State Representative Ty Cullen, moped operators would have to register their vehicles annually instead of the one-time registration fee that's required now. 

Seeing fatal accidents involving these small motorized vehicles are becoming too common for drivers like Cortney Midla, a nurse who supports the bill.

"Anything that would improve safety on the streets because they do move quickly through traffic.  It's something we should consider to improve the safety of our streets," said Midla.

State Representative Sharon Har also believes there's a growing safety concern with inexperienced moped riders who do not have licenses. 

"With limited lanes in our state, motorists and moped riders alike must share the roads.  This bill will help to ensure that our roads are safer for both," said Har.

Operators would also be required to get their mopeds inspected every year and enroll in safety courses before being allowed to ride away from stores like Apex Motorsports. 

Store owners like Danny Shin believe it's bad news for business.

"It's a lot of steps they have to go through.   I heard they have to take classes and it's just a headache to get it done," said Shinn.

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