NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WPRI) — The New Shoreham Town Council held an emergency meeting Sunday following an uptick in moped accidents on the island.
A 22-year-old Cranston man died Saturday after his moped and an SUV collided at the intersection of Spring Street and Whale Swamp Road.
“It was a horrific scene. It’s become a regular occurrence and this event yesterday is exactly what we’ve all been dreading,” Rescue Squad Captain Tracy Fredericks told the council Sunday.
The prior weekend, a 16-year-old boy from Connecticut was killed in a single-car crash on West Side Road. The driver, an underage female, was charged with driving under the influence and driving to endanger, both resulting in death and serious bodily injury.
The council also discusses an increase in moped crashed on the island this summer. According to New Shoreham Fire Chief Kirk Littlefield, from Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2018, there were 46 moped accidents. In 2019 there were 34 moped accidents, five of which were double occupant mopeds.
In 2020, from June 1 to now, there have already been 44 moped accidents. There were four in the month of June, 35 in July, and so far there have been six in August.
Of the 44 moped accidents this year, one was a private moped and the 22-year-old driver was not wearing a helmet. Of the remaining 43 accidents, 17 accidents had operators under the age of 25.
“As I can tell so far with everything we have gone through, most of them were wearing their helmets. Eleven were double-occupied mopeds,” Littlefield said.
The public meeting was held on Zoom until the council entered into a closed-door session to discuss their options. It was later adjourned without a vote and the council approved a motion to continue the matter until Monday at 5 p.m.
This story has been corrected to say there have been 44 moped crashes to occur to date in 2020, compared to the figure of 85 crashes that was stated in a previous version.