Block Island makes changes to moped ordinances ahead of summer months

South County

NOTE: This story has been updated to correct an inaccuracy about the number of fatal moped crashes on Block Island last summer.

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WPRI) — The New Shoreham Town Council approved changes to their moped ordinance Thursday in an effort to keep residents and tourists safe this summer.

Councilors agreed to cut the rental duration by three hours and require renters to watch an educational training video.

Under the new ordinance, mopeds can only be rented from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The educational video will be a mandatory requirement for all moped renters, and will review the town ordinances and detail best practices.

The new ordinances are in response to a deadly moped crash that occurred last summer. That crash, along with officers issuing 100 traffic violations in one weekend, prompted the R.I. State Police to deploy troopers to Block Island to provide enhanced traffic enforcement.

Block Island resident Sarah Beacon is grateful for the changes.

“This is a huge step in the right direction,” she told the council. “I know it’s taking time and energy, and we’re very, very grateful that you have put forth greater safety measures.”

The council is also expected to discuss changing the renewal process for motorized rental licenses.

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