Block Island to limit number of mopeds on the roads, reduce hours of operation

This action came after much debate Wednesday, spurred by two fatal crashes within a week of each other.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – There will be less mopeds to go around on Block Island and less time to use them, after a vote by the town council Wednesday under the town’s emergency ordinance.

The New Shoreham Council voted to reduce the number of licenses for each moped operator from 34 to 25 mopeds, and to have the hours of operation reduced so that they close down by 5 P.M.

“Rescue squad, the medical center, and everybody else, they have clearly indicated that afternoon hours have been where the accidents have been most prevalent,” said Town Councilor Sven Risom.

According to a medical official at the meeting Wednesday, there’s been 55 moped crashes
since June, with more summer weekends to go.

“I don’t really understand why we have to have all this scientific data to prove what we’ve seen with our own eyes everyday,” said Town Councilor Martha Ball.

This action came after much debate Wednesday, spurred by two fatal crashes within a week of each other.

One was a car crash in which the teen driver was charged with a DUI.

The other was a moped crash that killed the 22-year-old driver.

Members of the council said Wednesday, the moped issue has been going on for years.

“We have spent years listening to: ‘Well no one has ever died.’ And now we’re listening to: ‘Well we’ve only had one person die,'” said Ball. “This is lunacy!”

Some things the council says they’ll be discussing at future meetings, are an age requirement to rent the mopeds, and a limit to the number of people on a moped.

Another idea that moped operators have, which was shared at the meeting, is for renters to wear wristbands so they cannot be served alcohol by any establishment.

“I want everybody to know, including those operators, that these decisions are never made with malice or ill intent to any personal business or individual,” said Town Councilor Andre Boudreau. “I’m just looking out for the safety of my community right now the best that I can.”

In addition to these new rules, state police will also be on the island this weekend to help police there with stepped up enforcement.

Categories: News, Rhode Island