South Carolina editorial roundup
Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:
The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg on new moped laws:
Mopeds are popular on South Carolina roads. As with all other vehicles, they must conform to laws designed to make travel safer.
At last that will be the case in South Carolina with new rules and regulations to take effect Nov. 19.
After a battle of more than five years, Gov. Henry McMaster in 2017 signed a moped safety bill similar to the one his predecessor, Nikki Haley, vetoed.
Moped owners or operators must have their moped registered with the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles to drive it legally and mopeds cannot be driven on roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or higher.
According to SCDMV, law enforcement officers and drivers will recognize a properly registered moped by the five-digit license plate on the back of the vehicle and the registration decal in the lower right-hand corner, similar to how they identify passenger vehicles as properly registered. Moped operators will also be required to carry a registration card with them when operating the moped.
In addition to the moped having a license plate and registration, the minimum age for receiving a moped, or Class G, operator’s license will be 15. Previously, 14-year-olds, with a qualifying adult’s permission, could apply for a moped license.
“Mopeds still do not require insurance nor the payment of property taxes to the county in which the citizen lives,” SCDMV Director of Vehicle Services Larry Murray said. “Customers may also title their moped with the SCDMV if they have proper documentation such as a bill of sale or invoice. If no document exists, the SCDMV will work with the customer to find a serial number on the moped itself and begin a paper trail for that vehicle.”
Titling a moped costs $15. Registering a moped costs $10 every two years. Mopeds purchased Nov. 19, 2018, and after also are subject to the infrastructure maintenance fee of 5 percent of the sales price or a maximum of $500.
Moped owners must visit an SCDMV branch and pay the proper fees to register their moped by the Nov. 19 deadline.
Of note, the new law requires all moped users under age 21 to wear a helmet and allows officers to charge intoxicated moped drivers with drunken driving. Until now, state law has excluded mopeds — what some call “liquor cycles” because people who lose their license because of a DUI conviction often use a moped to get around — from the definition of a motor vehicle.
The law does not mandate the long-debated wearing of reflective vests by moped users. Hopefully that will come in the future.
South Carolina has the deadliest roads in the nation. The largely unregulated presence of mopeds has increased the dangers. Making drivers of the vehicles subject to the laws of the road comparable to other users is necessary.
As SCDMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo stated: “Requiring mopeds to be registered is a good step in making sure everyone who uses the roads of this state, regardless of the type of vehicle they are using, does so responsibly and fully accountable to the driving community.”
The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg on a Clemson-South Carolina food drive ahead of the universities’ rivalry football game:
The Clemson-South Carolina football showdown is next week, but the competition between the schools’ fans is ongoing in another annual feature of the rivalry.
The universities are taking part in the Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series Food Drive in a coordinated effort to benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank and Golden Harvest Food Bank and tackle hunger in the state. The winner will be announced at the Carolina-Clemson game at Clemson on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
“South Carolina’s farmers have dedicated their lives to providing fresh food for people everywhere,” Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said. “We’re honored to be able to help fight the hunger issues across South Carolina and put food on the tables of our friends and families in need.”
The university that raises the most donations in non-perishable foods by Nov. 18 will earn a point for their school toward the 2018-19 Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series standings. Collected food donations between the two schools will be measured in pounds, and money donated will be converted to a number of pounds via an equation used by Harvest Hope and Golden Harvest.
“The Clemson community really pulls together for the Palmetto Series Food Drive, and we see donations from students to athletic coaches to alumni,” said Travis McNeal, Golden Harvest executive director. “Beyond the competition, they’re truly motivated to feed hungry families.”
In South Carolina, one in six people struggles to find where the next meal will come from, and one in five children will go to bed hungry every night. By participating in the Palmetto Series Food Drive, Gamecock and Tiger fans alike will come together to fight the statewide battle of food insecurities and support Harvest Hope and Golden Harvest.
“The Palmetto Series is a great way to celebrate the rivalry in our state, while giving back to our community,” said Keith Ferrell, Harvest Hope Food Bank interim CEO. “Whether you’re a Gamecock or Tiger fan, you can help in the fight against hunger.”
Donations of food items can be made at Bi-Lo stores in Columbia and the Upstate, and at locations on the campuses in Columbia and Clemson. ...
The food drive puts focus on another issue surrounding hunger in South Carolina. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, S.C. Department of Commerce and S.C. Department of Agriculture are partners in a campaign to reduce the No. 1 item thrown away in the state: food.
Don’t Waste Food S.C. is aimed at educating and empowering individuals, businesses and communities to take action by preventing, composting or donating surplus food. The campaign is working toward a goal of reducing food waste in the state by 50 percent by 2030.
The partners are working together to connect food surpluses to those in need, enhance infrastructure for composting and educate consumers, communities and businesses about what they can do to join the initiative.
By taking part in both the competitive food drive and the don’t-waste-food effort, the people of the state can fight hunger and help their neighbors. And that is something about which Clemson and Carolina fans can agree.
The Index-Journal of Greenwood on exercise:
Thank goodness a report came out regarding new guidelines for exercise, the first released since the federal government’s decade-old physical activity guidelines were released.
And what sort of advice is in the report?
Well, we might all be shocked to learn that we should move more and sit less. Or this one: Take the steps instead of the elevator. Whodathunk?
Among the facts shared: Only 20 percent of Americans get enough exercise these days and — gasp! — childhood obesity is at such an all-time high that the experts are suggesting we get kids exercising even earlier than before, launching them into some sort of regimen by age 3 instead of 6. They call it “active play.”
Many readers will remember when physical activity was a regular part of the daily regimen in school. Back then, we called it “recess” and “P.E.,” short for physical education. That’s when we burned off a lot of energy playing dodgeball and, in elementary school, hitting the school playgrounds that had all sorts of dangerous things such as monkey bars. That’s when we also had to dress out in silly shorts, T-shirts with our school’s name emblazoned on them and those ridiculous white socks that never stayed up on our legs.
Who needed a study and how much did it cost? Just look on social media and read what many of us older but social media savvy people are posting as we recall such days, or recall the days when we went home from school and then played outdoors for a while before having dinner and doing homework. We played neighborhood ball, tag and even rode our bikes. And on the weekends? You wouldn’t find us indoors until and unless it was absolutely necessary.
Perhaps recess and P.E. should be as much a requirement in school as having Chromebooks, cellphones and the like. Perhaps more parents should kick the kids outdoors on good days and better regulate TV and computer gaming time.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to brave the elements and try to get in a decent and intense morning walk.