Separate deadly crashes in South Carolina within a three-day period should remind all drivers to watch for moped riders and to share the road respectfully with people using the motorized scooters. The earlier of the fatal wrecks, on June 11, 2015, was a hit-and run collision at the intersection of U.S. 17/ Kings Highway and 13th Avenue North in the resort town of Surfside Beach. The other occurred on June 14 at Poinsett Highway and Roe Ford Road outside of Travelers Rest in Greeneville County.
The later wreck involved a sheriff's deputy who survived the collision without suffering injuries. The moped rider lost his life after getting transported to a nearby hospital, and it was not immediately clear whether the scooter user or the law enforcement officer bore responsibilty for causing the wreck.
The accident in Surfside Beach also remained under investigation as of this writing, but physical evidence and eyewitness accounts made it clear that the driver of a black SUV fled the scene after hitting and critically injuring the moped rider. Even if that person did not do something negligent or reckless to endanger the woman on the scooter, he or she must be identified and made to answer for failing to stop after getting involved in a crash that proved fatal.
Moped riders have every duty to follow traffic laws and operate safely that motorcycle riders do. The converse of that is also true: Just as with motorcyclists, drivers must respect moped users' right of way; pass, change lanes and turn cautiously; and remain on alert for two-wheelers. A special consideration with mopeds is that they have maximum speeds of 25-35 mph. This does not restrict their users from operating on most roads, so drivers must exercise patience when following scooters.