HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Moped owners would be required to register their rides annually and put their mopeds through an annual safety inspection just like other vehicles, under a measure moving through the state Legislature.
Proponents say the stricter requirements would cut down on excessive noise from modified moped mufflers.
"Looking at the modified mufflers, that's getting right at the source versus trying to rely on HPD or other county police officers to be there at the exact moment they go by," said Tim Streitz, of the Moped Noise Mitigation working group.
But moped dealer George Burmeister doubts safety checks will stop people from modifying their mopeds.
"Putting a safety check on it isn't really necessarily going to help the enforcement side of it because all it does is the person the next day reverts their bike back to what they wanted it to be, whether it be noisy or not," he said.
Safety checks would cost $13 a year, and the annual registration would be $50.
Operating a moped without a current registration or inspection could net the rider a $100 fine.
If police suspect a moped's been modified after clearing a safety inspection, the owner would be fined and have to get another safety check.
"The noise is probable cause that gives the police authority to stop the moped," Moped Noise Group member George West said.
Burmeister, though, is skeptical. He thinks there aren't enough moped shops to perform the safety inspections needed for the tens of thousands of mopeds across the state, and motorcycle dealers aren't equipped to handle it.
"The current safety check stations that are in place right now don't have the ability to judge mopeds based on whether it be a two-stroke, a four-stroke, having it at 2,000 rpm versus 4,000 rpm," he said.
Streitz, of the noise working group, said 13 neighborhood boards helped write the recommendations for House Bill 1753.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee passed the bill Thursday. If the measure becomes law, mopeds would be issued license plates.
"We want to have some rules in place that allow noise to be regulated," Streitz said.