State Rep. Dylan Fernandes and former Chilmark police chief Timothy Rich squared off against moped rental business owners at a legislative hearing Tuesday to consider a long-sought bill that would enable Oak Bluffs to ban moped rentals.

“Every summer brings another slew of disturbing roadside incidents,” Mr. Rich, a member of the rental moped action committee, told the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

During the live-streamed hearing, Representative Fernandes recounted the fatal accident last summer which killed Hannah Malany Iozzo of West Brookfield, a passenger on a moped, and sent its driver to the hospital. He said the legislation to ban rentals is past due, and further deadly accidents are all but certain.

“She definitely will not be the last if we allow moped rentals on Martha’s Vineyard,” he said.

Moped rental business owners argued against the bill, contending the danger of mopeds has been overstated and advocating for their ability to meet a market demand.

“This will destroy my husband’s business and his livelihood,” said Penny Wong, the wife of moped dealer Aguimar Carlos.

She said moped rental shop owners have been vilified, and that the sentiment for banning rentals is not universal. She claimed advocates against mopeds have dominated the conversation, drowning out and intimidating those who are in favor of their use on the Island.

“I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told that we are quietly supported,” Ms. Wong said.

Two other businessmen, Mike Tierney and John Leone, claimed that mopeds are not as dangerous as they have been made out to be. Mr. Tierney manages the three moped businesses in Oak Bluffs, and Mr. Leone is a relative of the late Oak Bluffs moped business owner Jason Leone.

Both men said data from Dukes County showed incidents occur with less than one third of one per cent of the mopeds rented on the Island.

“And those are incidents, those aren’t all accidents,” Mr. Tierney said.

Mr. Tierney said tragic, fatal moped accidents are rare on the Island. He claimed there have been three or fewer fatal accidents in the last several decades, though Mr. Fernandes said there have been at least nine since 1983, a number supported by news stories from the Gazette archives.

“There might be like three deaths in 45 years,” Mr. Tierney said. “Which is three too many . . . but there have not been as many as Mr. Fernandes has said.”

Advocates have tried unsuccessfully for years to ban moped rentals on the Vineyard.

Oak Bluffs voters voted overwhelmingly in 2018 and again last fall to petition the legislature for a home rule law that would enable the town to prohibit rentals. A previous bill died in the legislature.

If the current bill is passed by the legislature, it would go back to town meeting where voters would have to make a final change to town bylaws.

While the legislation would only ban moped rentals in Oak Bluffs, Mr. Fernandes indicated that use of mopeds on the Martha’s Vineyard is broadly dangerous.

“We can’t allow this to continue on Vineyard streets,” he said.

Mr. Rich and Representative Fernandes both argued that moped rental drivers are often inexperienced tourists with little knowledge of the Vineyard’s winding roads.

“The roads on Martha’s Vineyard are pre-Revolution roads,” Mr. Rich said. He added that his gripe is solely with rental mopeds, and the dangers posed by inexperienced drivers.

“This is only rental mopeds,” Mr. Rich said. “I’ve never encountered an owner-operator [crash]. It’s always rental.”

He cited a fatal moped accident that occured eight years ago, when a moped driver collided with a pickup truck operated by his son.

“This was in 2014, and the matter continues,” Mr. Rich said.