The Block Island Times
http://block-island.villagesoup.com/p/1011857

Council concerned about moped safety on Weldon’s Way

Town road used for test drives
By Stephanie Turaj | Jun 12, 2013
Photo by: John Barry Weldon's Way.

Despite what Town Councilors acknowledged as a decline in moped accidents over the past several years, they nonetheless expressed concern that the use of public roads for test-driving mopeds may be a safety hazard.

Weldon’s Way, located behind the Harborside Inn, is where many moped rental companies are located and is also used as a test-drive site for potential moped renters. The renters take an initial ride on the vehicle and the companies determine if they are fit to drive them.

“They’re doing it on a town road — they need to do it on their own property,” said councilor Chris Warfel. “It is just amazing there haven’t been more accidents. I think we’ve been very lucky.”

However, the council also acknowledged that the moped companies might not have another location to perform the test drive. Also, council members noted that the moped companies are not required to test their customers.

Second Warden Ken Lacoste, referring to the use of Weldon’s Way for test drives, said that fewer accidents were a good thing, but added it was an “unfortunate trade-off” that the town road was being used.

The town council voted at its Wednesday, June 5 meeting, to look into hiring a police officer to perform weekend detail work, which is when an officer monitors a specific event or safety hazard.

In other matters, the council discussed the construction schedule for a new picnic shelter at a Ball O’Brien park and voted to move ahead with the picnic shelter as soon as possible. Construction of a bathroom facility at the park is still in the planning process.

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