To the Editor:
I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen and driver. Recently as the weather has begun to warm up, there has been an increase in the number of moped drivers in Emmetsburg. I am not opposed to mopeds or kids on mopeds in any way and I feel mopeds are a great way for age appropriate kids to get around. With that said, however, I am not sure if there are more moped drivers in town this year than there has been in prior years or if it just seems like there are more because of the select few drivers who seem to be everywhere causing chaos.
I have personally seen or heard from other people a number of things that these drivers are doing that cause me great concern. I have seen moped drivers turn left from the far right lane without so much as looking behind them or slowing down. I have seen drivers speeding into parking lots with no concern for vehicles and almost running into each other. I have heard of moped drivers speeding around people on each side of their vehicle, moped drivers STANDING on their moped while driving them. I have seen or heard of drivers zipping around bicyclists and children crossing the road, coming to a complete and abrupt stop in the middle of traffic on Main Street to pick up a fallen hat, and zig zagging around each other going down the road.
I am writing this letter not just because the carelessness of these moped drivers is an annoyance, but mainly because it is dangerous. One of these kids is going to get seriously injured or worse. The driver of any vehicle that is involved in an accident with a moped will likely end up ticketed, even if it was the moped driver's fault, but much worse, will have to live with the idea that they seriously injured or potentially killed a child on a moped. Nobody wants that. These moped drivers have the potential to seriously injure one another in an accident or hit a pedestrian crossing the street because they just don't seem to feel the rules of the road apply to them.
Please know that this is not a blanket statement against all mopeds and all kids on mopeds. I believe, as I said above, mopeds are useful and, in the right hands, very safe. Not all of the kids in town on mopeds have been displaying dangerous activity on them; I've seen plenty of kids who seem to be using them quite appropriately. Unfortunately, there are a select few (a couple handfuls) of the same kids that people in the public are seeing abuse their right to be on the road. I would encourage the parents of all moped drivers to sit down with their children and explain the rules, explain why the moped safety course they took should be taken seriously, and offer up serious consequences if their child fails to obey the rules. I would also encourage the public to start notifying parents of the offending drivers if they recognize them. No one wants an accident, let alone an accident involving a child.
Sincerely, (signed) Faith Kennedy