The moped dilemma
It may have seemed like nit-picking, and it probably was a bit of a pain to the people who created Rhode Island’s latest video marketing campaign, but the members of the Block Island Rescue Squad were perfectly right in calling out the promotional video that highlighted less than safe moped driving habits.
The state was also right in pulling the video, one in a series of videos in a campaign titled “Fun-Sized” that highlights various attractions in the state, until it can be replaced with something more appropriate.
It’s no secret that island residents have a love-hate relationship with mopeds — all the beeping, and buzzing and, yes, people riding two, three and even four abreast — but the fact is they are an enormous attraction. Residents may not like the fact that mopeds have become a kind of symbol of island life in the summer season, but they are, and so the creators of the video were not inherently wrong in using mopeds in their marketing video.
This is all the more reason, then, to promote safe driving habits. The corollary to safe driving — which comes with proper training by moped rental companies — is that it will keep accidents down to a minimum. Fewer people interrupting their vacation with unnecessary injuries (sometimes very serious) means less strain on our volunteer Rescue Squad members.
So, we say thank you to the state for helping to promote Block Island’s charms, and thank you also for listening to the concerns of our first responders.