In Hawaii, moped operators are granted the same rights on the road as other motorists. Like all other drivers, they must exercise due care to prevent accidents that harm others. However, mopeds are treated differently in other areas of the law. For example, moped owners do not need to carry liability insurance, and accidents are handled similarly to bicycle crashes.
Don’t let the small size of a moped fool you. They’re capable of causing serious collisions that endanger both the rider and anyone in its path. If you’re riding or renting a moped in Honolulu, understanding Hawaii’s moped laws is critical to protect your legal rights.
What is Considered a Moped in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, mopeds are classified as vehicles with:
- 2 or 3 wheels
- A drive system that doesn’t require a gear or clutch
- An engine of no more than 2 horsepower
- A maximum speed of 30 miles per hour (anything over that speed limit is considered a motor scooter and is subject to different requirements)
Are Mopeds Street Legal?
Mopeds must be registered and inspected annually to operate legally on Hawaii roads. All of the traffic laws that apply to other motorists also apply to moped riders.
When driving, moped operators must:
- Carry at least a Class I driver’s license.
- Wear a helmet, if under the age of 18.
- Sit astride the seat facing forward, with one leg on each side.
- Not carry passengers unless the moped is equipped for two riders.
- Stay off the freeways. Freeway travel is limited to vehicles with at least a 5-horsepower engine.
- Keep lights on from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise, or any time when there is insufficient light to see other pedestrians and vehicles.
Moped Driving Rules
Though they have the same rights as other drivers, moped laws in Hawaii do outline specific driving obligations for operators. You must:
- Drive at a speed that is reasonable given the conditions, but not over 30 miles per hour.
- If you’re driving slower than regular traffic, you must move the moped as far to the right side of the road as possible, unless:
- You are turning left at an intersection, private road, or driveway.
- You need to avoid dangers such as fixed or moving objects, other vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and road surface hazards.
- You are driving in one-way traffic with two or more marked traffic lanes. In these circumstances, moped operators must ride as far to the left as possible.
In addition, moped drivers must:
- Use bicycle lanes whenever available.
- Ride single file.
- Stay off the sidewalk.
- Not hang on to another vehicle while the moped is in motion.
Like everyone else, driving while intoxicated is illegal for moped operators.
Is Moped Insurance Required in Hawaii?
Moped insurance is only required in Hawaii if you ride a three-wheeled moped or are renting a moped. In those cases, operators must carry liability and property damage insurance.
What Happens if I Am in a Moped Accident in Honolulu?
If you are hit while riding your moped by another driver, you can file a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance company for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. An experienced moped accident lawyer at Recovery Law Center can investigate your case, prepare the claim, and negotiate for the best possible result in your case. Contact us today!
What to Do After a Moped Traffic Collision in Hawaii
After a moped accident, your first priority is always your health. Because mopeds are tiny compared to passenger vehicles and offer no protection from impact, many injuries are serious.
Check yourself carefully. Then follow these tips:
- Call 911. This will bring law enforcement and paramedics to the accident scene. Later, you can obtain the police accident report, which most insurance companies require to initiate a claim.
- Document the scene. If you are able, gather as much information from the crash site as you can. Take photos of the vehicles and damage from multiple angles. If there were road hazards that contributed to the wreck, photograph those as well. Also, collect names and insurance information from the involved driver(s), and if possible, get the names of any witnesses. This will help a moped accident lawyer build a solid claim for compensation for you.
- See a doctor. Even if you feel OK, you should always get examined by a physician after a moped wreck. Many injuries have a delayed onset but can be detected early by a medical professional.
- Contact a Honolulu moped accident lawyer. An attorney will be able to discuss the best way to maximize your settlement from the insurance company.