The laws of physics still apply, even on Block Island.
It may be fun to put the kids in the back of a pickup truck, but if the vehicle is traveling at 25 miles an hour and has to stop suddenly, the kids in the back are still going to keep moving at 25 miles per hour.
“Would you put your kids in the back of a pickup truck at home?” asked Chief Vin Carlone. “Here, for some reason, people say, ‘Oh, it’s Block Island.’ But in terms of safety, it’s the same as anyplace else.”
The same thing can be said for people who make a pass to go around mopeds or walkers or bicyclists on a curve in the road they can’t see around.
Carlone said the island has entered its busiest month. In terms of accidents, he said, the numbers have been down. He’s posted police vehicles around the island to monitor speeding. The reasoning behind it is simple. “If you run someone over, you have to live with it,” he said. “Living with it is much more significant than getting a traffic ticket.”
He had a few simple rules so that the crush of visitors and residents alike can enjoy the season right up through Labor Day.
1. “Speeding is the critical thing. If you hit someone going slow, they will probably live. At 20 miles an hour you have time to react and adjust.”
2. “Unrestrained children in vehicles. Very dangerous. You’re making a decision for the child. You have to realize this. It’s a bad choice.”
3. “Distracted driving. Put the cell phone down. It’s also against the law.” A new hands-free law went into effect on June 1.
“Be patient with people,” said Carlone. “September will get here.”