Marthas Vinyard Protesters: Mopeds Kill (w/signs!)

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Marthas Vinyard Protesters: Mopeds Kill (w/signs!)

Postby Micronaut » Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:42 pm ... rotest.php

Accident spurs anti-moped protest

Daniel Cuff and a group of friends held an impromptu demonstration Tuesday in Oak Bluffs, handing bus schedules to passengers exiting the Island Queen ferry and encouraging them not to rent mopeds. Photos by Susan Safford
By Aubrey Gibavic - July 6, 2006

Sunday's accident was the first moped fatality since July 2001, when Katharine Fraser Dunnet Miller, a 30-year-old Alexandria, Va. woman lost control of her moped while rounding a turn on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs.

Moped use has been a controversial topic among Island residents and officials for years. A committee named "Mopeds are Dangerous" has worked for many years to limit or ban moped use on the Island.

Donna Bouchard and her son Daniel Cuff came upon the accident Sunday before EMT personnel arrived. She said that "the girl was already gone," and the man lay bloodied on the side of the road.

"Something needs to be done," said Ms. Bouchard, an Oak Bluffs resident. "The roads on Martha's Vineyard are just not safe enough for this kind of traffic."

While various groups have tried to raise awareness as to the dangers of mo- peds, scooters are still popular vehicles for tourists visiting the Island.
Ms. Bouchard and her son, who she said was deeply affected by the accident, held a demonstration Tuesday near the Island Queen Ferry in Oak Bluffs. Daniel, who is going into his sophomore year at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, and a group of about 20 teenagers held signs reading "Mopeds Kill" and "Honk for No Mopeds," and handed out bus schedules to people exiting the ferry.

"I needed to feel like we did something, and I think raising public awareness is all you can do right now," Ms. Bouchard said yesterday.

Sam Feldman, head of the "Mopeds are Dangerous" committee, joined the group Tuesday.

Ms. Bouchard said responses were mixed. She noted taxi drivers and some passerby's gave supportive honks, while others blamed the scooter riders for careless driving.

"[The crash] was the most horrifying thing I've ever seen," Daniel said Tuesday at the demonstration. "I wanted to do something to bring attention to the fact of how dangerous they are." He added that moped dealers don't give enough instruction concerning moped safety.

Don Gregory, owner of Sun 'n Fun in Oak Bluffs who rented the scooter to the couple Sunday, said they encourage anyone interested in scooters to rent a Jeep instead, for safety reasons.

"We tell them the God's honest truth," Mr. Gregory said. "These are non-forgiving machines." He said due to the increased holiday traffic, no Jeeps were available Sunday.

Although no one at Sun 'n Fun specifically remembers the couple, Mr. Gregory said that all riders are given a helmet and required to wear closed-toe shoes before leaving the lot. "The procedures are always exactly the same," he said, adding that renters have to sign a contract agreeing to stay down-Island and off Chappaquiddick.

"They could get rid of these things any time they want and I'd be in the car business and I'd be a happy man," Mr. Gregory said. "Unfortunately they won't do it that way."

After renting mopeds for 28 years, Mr. Gregory said this is the first of his scooters to be involved in a fatal accident. "When you're the person sitting on the hot seat you feel really bad," he said, adding that West Tisbury Police Chief Beth Toomey visited his shop and determined that he had gone through the correct procedures in renting to the couple.
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re: Marthas Vinyard Protesters: Mopeds Kill (w/signs!)

Postby Smitty » Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:35 pm

....again, "Mopeds don't kill people...PEOPLE kill people!!!"
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