10/06/2005

This Won't Take Long, Did It?

I saw on the news tonight at six, that the moped operators of the State and BI got to that Judge Rubine early. He decided to let them keep on doing as they have for years in defiance of an existing State Law. I almost fell off my chair when I heard him say, "what's the urgency in enforcing this existing law?" I now wonder if he feels the same way about many of the other state statutes. I guess if your pockets are deep enough you can get anybody you need, bought. Wasn't it Mr. Hagopian's father that inflicted these things on us in the first place? I am not against mopeds as I own one and ride it every day in preference to my 1100 cc motorcycle. If this judge continues to let these people do just as they damned please, then it is up to the legislators of this mostly crooked state to write a law with some teeth in it that WILL make them comply with the rules. While we are on the subject of enforcement of the laws of this State, why is it that virtually NO ONE does anything about enforcing the muffler laws that pertain to the operation of full sized motorcycles? Mine has a regular muffler just as the laws prescribe, and it came from a foreign country. You look and listen to nine out of ten Harley Davidsons that come over here on the boat and they all are in defiance of those laws as they all run straight pipes that can raise the dead!Whats up with that? TIFN

23 comments:

Sam said...

How about writing a letter to the state police chief demanding action regarding compliance with the moped regulations, and copying all your elected officials - especially Susan Sosnowski. Obvously, a judge cannot rule against a law unless he finds it to be unconstitutional - which I don't think happened here. You have to watch out, though, the moped riders will get the ticket, not the rental company, most likely. What a mess.

The pen roars mightier than the muffler, Everett!

Anonymous said...

Hey sam, judges do more than turn over "unconstitutional laws." He or she can rule that a law is misinterpreted by an administrative agency (i.e. the DMV) when drafting regulations. The judge was clearly within his rights...there is a clear legal question. What will cause more damage, alowing the new intrepretation of the law thus changing the way things have been done for years, or allowing things to continue as such?

It was an easy decision to make.

Sam said...

Well OK, I'm as much of a lawyer as an astronaut! I worked in state government for about 10 years and we were always getting into trouble about not getting the laws right. If there's a rational explanation .. aw heck, I don't need to know it.

Consider also that enforcement is a selective process - you have to get caught in the act. Take the speed limit signs. Those signs do not guarantee everyone will travel below the speed limit, whilst it is a comforting thought.

Same thing for Harley bikes with straight pipes, I suppose, but not mopeds, apparently.

Anonymous said...

What about the harleys that live here on the island, and the former teacher who rides around on his crotch rocket doing wheelees. As for the injunction it just another case of lets get to the winter and then it will be forgotten just like the use of weldons way as a training ground. The council and the chief simply have no balls !!!!

Anonymous said...

Before you throw out insults you should really try to figure the situation out first. One should not let moped disdain cloud common sense and logic.

This has nothing to do with the council or the cheif. A judge ordered the cheif not to enforce the DMV's new inperpretation of the law...he has no choice.

Please tell me what else can be done by either party?

rebecca said...

While I would be happy to see the renting of mopeds banished from the island, I agree with the anonymous poster who noted that this is a matter of interpreting an existing law and applying it to the scooters that are present on the island and increasing on the mainland. And while I would love to see that a motorcycle license is required for the operation of a motor scooter, I do recognize that the court has the right to judge whether an interpretation of a law applies in a particular case. So, Sam I disagree with your comment that the rational explanation is not important. While I know that the comment was self-referential, it nonetheless makes real conversation virtually impossible. One would hope that there is some desire for rational discourse on both sides of the issue.
Note: That in desiring that the requirement that motorcycle licenses should be required of drivers who operate motor scooters, I am placing myself in the inconvenience of having to fulfill the requirements stipulated for the safe and legal operation of a motorscooter. I believe that these machines are a wonderful alternative to an auto/truck and am planning on purchasing one in the near future.

Sam said...

Hey Rebecca, I was merely saying I didn't have to know ... but there ought to be a compelling explanation somewhere. The spirit of the regulation was probably to ensure that motorcycle riders (as different from pedal-powered mopeds) were trained in the use of their equipment, as a public safety issue. Reading the BI Times on the number of accidents and crashes, it seemed like there was a true public safety issue. Therefore, there out to be some knd of response in the name of the public good. Making any sense here?

Your comment that the small motor bikes (Vespas rock!) reduce emissions are well taken. There is a vast difference between a 250 horsepower bohemoth and a 25 horsepower scooter - about a factor of ten in terms of emissions! Heck, it's my day job to know this kind of stuff.

You write very well, Rebecca. Common sense might lend itself to a more robust training ground for scooter rentals - and not on Weldon's Way. Just my thoughts, here.

rebecca said...

Sam,
We're basically on the same side of the fence, here. What lies before the island community, as well as the State of Rhode Island, is the fact that the moped rental businesses, as well as motor scooter dealers will be looking to their day in court to establish that the operation of motor scooters will not require a motorcyle license. The legal representation for these groups will present a passionate, well-argued case presenting the reasons motorscooters should be regarded as mopeds.

Now there's always the good chance that the State will maintain that these are basically two different vehicles, requiring different skills and experience of the rider. However, will there be any representation of groups or communities who have a particular interest in the final determination of the court? Who will present the impassioned,and hopefully well-argued case for those who will not benefit from removing the motorcycle license requirement from motorscooter operation?

The adage: "The squeakiest wheel gets the most oil" should prompt the island community to prepare an argument about this case.
The Island is presented with an opportunity to revisit the availability of moped rentals on the island, and should consider the possiblity that new laws will be formed without input from the community and its needs.

For the record, I'm not one of 'those' people recently fingered in a letter to the editor in the BI Times. I've been on island or had family on island for the last 32 years. So, I've lived through the 'Moped Wars' as the rental dealers like to bracket that experience, and believe that a local community has the right to self-determination as long as their laws do not contradict or subvert the laws of State and the Federal Government.

With 20/20 hindsight the 'Moped Wars' may be viewed as a time when the importance of the common good, was subverted for the greed of a few: a model of decision making that is becoming more and more common on the island as evidenced in proposals that continue to assert the benefit of a few over the good of the community as a whole.

Anonymous said...

every time someone rents a moped they take a test ride in which they are instructed to make an illegal u-turn across a double yellow line on a town road. It is that issue that the council and the chief have failed to address. i.e. no balls

catt said...

The Webster Dictionary definition ....
moped n.[Sw, fr. motor + pedal] (ca.1955)a lightweight low-powered motorbike that can be peddled.........
I can see no reference to number of cc's or horsepower. Just because there was enough money put in the right pockets to overlook the definition in the past, doesn't mean that that mistake can't be corrected.Enough said!!

rebecca said...

I think somewhere on this blog or another blo Everett named the real motivation behind the DMV pushing a stricter interpretation of what is or what is not a moped: the fact that these vehicles are now becoming more popular on the mainland. Now they have to deal with a problem that was formerly isolated on Block Island ( although Newport also has some rental moped businesses, but I don't think it's the same number as the island.) I'm guessing the argument will focus on the fact that the DMV formerly licensed motor scooters as mopeds, but has recently changed its position. I'm not a lawyer, but I do understand that there is always an appeal and concern for a sense of continuity in interpreting and applying laws. Apart from pleading a sudden experience of enlightenment: that people really need a set of skills and experience to safely operate a motor scooter- I don't know how the DMV will counter the claims and legal arguments of the motor scooter retailers and rental businesses. Although, I'm hoping that that the courts will uphold that the operation of a motorscooter requires a motorcycle license.

Anyone out there with legal expertise that could shed insight on the matter?

Anonymous said...

I'll ask again what about the harleys that live here and are way to loud? whats up with that?

Everett said...

Hi Anony, Well I also wonder what's up with that! In fact I went to the police ststion one day last summer and lodged a complaint/request to do something about it. You see what has happened, Ziltch.

Anonymous said...

This all goes back to my hardly original idea that five families are ruining the island. When they wake up to the fact that we are the next Misquamicut, they'll jump in their Florida liscensed cars and head South.

Anonymous said...

I agree .The fab five are the Leones,Hagopians, Fillippes ,Grillos Can't get # five. Am I on the right track?

Anonymous said...

Fab 5??? That is only 4.

Anonymous said...

What about the Wronowskis with their new ferry?

How about Payne, he just submitted a plan to extend his marina? Why is this not recieving the same reaction as Champlins?

How about his sister with the harbor view hotel?

How about Brad Marthens? He is getting ready to build a large deelopment on spring St.

Lets not forget to mention the town itself...the library, the post office, the school and now the new town hall. This is more building than any 5 people have done on the island.

I think there are a lot of people who are trying to make a profit off BI, in addition to the 4 aformentioned.

Anonymous said...

The town did not build the post office, you nitwit.

Anonymous said...

Ok, my mistake. It still does not disporve my point.

Anonymous said...

What is your point? You are against any building what so ever. The trailers at town hall and the school are so attractive. The library is great more space,newer, cleaner. I think Carols inn is a very good looking building and fitting on that spot.

Anonymous said...

The point is that if you are "in" on BI, you have every right to develop your property. If you are not "in" you are an evil developer who does not care about the community. Why is Cliff Payne any different than Joe Grillo? The expansions, relative to the marinas 'existing sizes, are about the same.

Why should Brad Marthens get a green light to build a large development on High St. with absolutely no flack?

Why is it Ok for the Wronowskis to run the new ferry to CT, but the Hagopians are the bad guys for running another one from PT. Judith?

It just does not make sense. Why is it ok for some people to do what they wish with their private property while it is not ok for others to do. Should some have more Rights than others? I don't think that is what Everett, and millions like him fought in the Navy for.

This elitist hypocrisy is so transparent and this is one of the reasons why people up state do not respect the people of Block Island.

Anonymous said...

Catt, don't you work for one of the moped dealerships?

Anonymous said...

Who says you have to be "in" to get permission to build? I don't see too many things being turned down by the zoning board.

Brad Marthen's development was approved several years ago, by the way, and fits within the zoning guidelines. If you don't like that you should be on the zoning board and change the laws.

There are many bad projects in the works and at least two that have been helped along by our inept town council.

Everyone who cares should be watching them very closely and questioning their motivation.