$$ The City Council, a Moped safety group and the Money $$

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$$ The City Council, a Moped safety group and the Money $$

Postby Micronaut » Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:49 pm

http://www.blockislandtimes.com/news/20 ... s/026.html

Moped and money talk at Town Council meeting
By Abby Fox

Members of the moped and bicycle safety committee came to this week's Town Council meeting on Wednesday, June 7, to try to toughen up language in the town's ordinance relating to moped rentals.

The language that council members were reviewing was not their own, but lines borrowed right from Rhode Island state law. First Warden Jack Savoie explained that the council's purpose in adding the words to the town ordinance was not to make new laws, but to emphasize the laws already on the books.

But moped and bicycle committee members Dr. Peter Baute, Steve McQueeny and rescue squad member Mark Emmanuelle were hoping the council would take the ordinance further. First, they asked the council to eradicate any references to moped sidecars, because, they said, sidecars shouldn't be allowed on the island.

Then Baute suggested that the council should reconsider the sentence "Any passenger...under 12 years of age must have a properly secured back-rest or equivalent, shall have his or her feet placed upon the foot-rest, and shall be seated behind the operator...". It would be easier if the town restricted moped riding not by age, but by height, Baute said, and suggested 48 inches as a good height minimum.

Savoie and Councilor Bob Smith didn't see the reasoning behind 48 inches, and Baute replied that based on his experience, 48 inches seemed like a reasonable height for a person if he or she is going to be able to reach the pedals and hold on to the vehicle.

Councilor Mary Jane Balser, on the other hand, suggested the council could increase the minimum age from 12 to 16 years, while Emmanuelle advocated a higher height minimum, such as anywhere between four and a half to five feet, based on his survey of island children's heights.

Smith added that he thought the council should add language stating that moped companies must tell their renters that U-Turns are illegal.

Emmanuelle had other questions about the ordinance. He said he didn't understand why there needed to be language saying the town must maintain a waiting list of moped business license applicants. He also asked the town to add language to the section on moped identification tags, saying that if a moped business rents more than the 34 mopeds it is allowed, it would be punished in some way. The council didn't seem to agree on what would be a fair punishment.

The council agreed the moped rental ordinance discussion would be continued on June 19
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