At their special town meeting Tuesday night Oak Bluffs voters swiftly agreed to send a home-rule petition to the state legislature that would give the town the power to ban moped rentals.


There was no discussion on the town meeting floor, and honestly enough has been said already. Rental mopeds pose a grave danger on Martha’s Vineyard, especially for unsuspecting tourists, the vast majority of them day trippers who are experiencing the Island for the first time. It sounds like so much fun: for not much money you can rent a moped, ride around Martha’s Vineyard and see the sights on a pretty summer day. All you need is a brief training session, a few safety instructions, a helmet, a test ride around the block or a parking lot, and off you go.

How many times has this scenario turned to tragedy, with devastating injuries and loss of life? By now the Island has surely lost count.

The most recent reminder came this summer when Hannah Malany Iozzo of West Brookfield died after the moped she was riding on lost control and collided with an oncoming car on South Road in Chilmark. A life cut short at the age of 20.

Now the home rule petition to allow a ban on moped rentals will go to the legislature again, but unlike last time, it is hoped that Oak Bluffs leaders will follow through and track the bill at every step, attending hearings and putting a full court press on the elected Cape and Islands legislative delegation. It’s time to send a clear message to Beacon Hill: this is an urgent priority and a matter of life and death.

Ban rental mopeds on Martha’s Vineyard. Now and forever.

No one will miss them.