At a wide-ranging discussion Tuesday, Oak Bluffs selectmen vowed to take steps to improve moped safety, including revising and enforcing town bylaws.

The pledges took place amid complaints about moped dealerships in Oak Bluffs failing to follow town bylaws. The complaints have been lodged over the past few months by a citizen group against mopeds.

During the hour-long discussion Tuesday that included strong statements against mopeds and their oversight, selectmen said they were committed to cracking down on moped rentals, which are controlled and licensed through the town.

“I’m not going to sign that license this year when it comes before us,” selectman Michael Santoro said. “Not until we have changes, and I don’t think any of these board members will sign it.” The statement drew applause from audience members; about 30 people attended the hearing.

Nicole Friedler Brisson, a leader in a citizen group pushing for better enforcement of moped laws, addressed the selectmen Tuesday night. — Sara Brown

The town police chief will also moderate a stakeholder discussion about the issue in time to propose revisions to the town moped bylaw before the annual town meeting next April.

A renewed push to regulate, and possibly outlaw mopeds began this summer after a 19-year-old woman lost part of her leg in a moped crash in Oak Bluffs.

Last month selectmen accepted an offer from the operator of Sun ‘N’ Fun rentals to retire his license to rent 40 mopeds in exchange for a license to rent the equivalent number of rental cars. Selectmen have said they do not plan to grant any new moped licenses. The town cap on mopeds is currently 308.

Nicole Friedler Brisson, a leader in the recently revived Vineyard group against mopeds, said she discovered a lack of town bylaw enforcement in Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven, the only two towns on the Island to rent mopeds, and had submitted a written complaint to selectmen in August.

“Day after day inexperienced renters are handed keys,” said Lisa Holley, a member of the group. “Unsafe, untrained, unprepared visitors are allowed to traverse Island roads at speeds up to 40 miles per hour, faced with a frustrated Island motoring public.”

The action is “analogous to a drug dealer handing a bag of Fentanyl-laced heroin to an addict,” she said. “Mopeds are dangerous.”

No owners of moped rental businesses attended the hearing.

Tim Rich, the retired Chilmark police chief and an Oak Bluffs resident, said he has been on the front lines of the moped battle since the 1980s as a police officer and as a father. Two years ago Alexandro Garcia, 24, was killed in Chilmark when he lost control of the moped he was driving and collided with a truck; Mr. Rich’s son, Jonathan, was the truck’s driver. The accident that injured the woman this summer “was the absolute last straw,” Mr. Rich said.

“There are few people on the Island that have seen as much carnage, death and injury from mopeds as myself,” he said. He also cited frustration about getting responses to his questions from the town.

The hearing addressed confusion about whether any moped operations were grandfathered in and exempt from the town bylaw; selectmen said they did not believe that to be the case. But most concerns centered on whether moped bylaws were being enforced by the town.

Police chief Erik Blake offered to moderate a so-called SARA model of problem solving which would involve gathering different stakeholders to discuss the issue. “There are obviously provisions in the bylaw that need to be changed,” he said, calling parts of the bylaw “outrageous.”

Selectmen supported that suggestion, and Mr. Blake will appoint members of the group.

“Clearly we haven’t done all that we needed to do to enforce the bylaw, no question, and we can fix that,” selectman Walter Vail said, adding that he found bicycles and cars a similar cause for concern.

“I appreciate your passion, it’s a passion of mine,” said selectman Kathy Burton. “I think we need to rewrite the bylaw, personally, and I’d like to be a part of that, make safety improvements . . . I’d like to see one rider per moped.”