Block Island is home to one town, the Town of New Shoreham.  The town is governed by a town council, headed by the First Warden, and managed by the Town Manager.  There is a police force of seven officers in the summertime and four year round; also in tow is the local police dog.  The town Harbormaster is a member of the police force and in the summer months the Rhode Island State Police are also on island.

Plan your vacation wisely and enjoy it safely.  Remember that while it is an island, all of the same rules of the road apply on island as apply off island.  Use your seatbelts, stay in your lane and keep to the speed limit of 25 mph. on paved roads and 15mph on dirt roads.  MOST ACCIDENTS ARE PREVENTABLE.

Bicyclists should obey the same traffic signs as automobiles.  Bicycles should be walked across crosswalks and all bicyclists must stop at stop signs.  Bicycles are NOT permitted on the Greenway Trails.  Nighttime riders must have a light on the front of the bike and a reflector in the rear.  Bicyclists should stay on the right hand side of the road and, when possible, ride in single file.  Bike helmets are required on riders 15 years and younger.  They are recommended for all riders.

Pedestrians must walk against traffic, or on the left side on roads without sidewalks.

Bicycles, scooters and skateboards must stay off the sidewalks.


Town Ordinances Prohibit:

Drinking alcoholic beverages in public.  This includes on streets, docks and the beach.

Disturbing the peace.

Mopeds on dirt roads.

Unleashed Dogs.

Shellfishing without a license.  A license may be purchased at the Harbormasters office at the Boat Basin in New Harbor.

Driving on the beaches without a valid CRMC permit. A permit application is available online or at town hall.

Driving on the beaches between 9am and 6pm from May 15 to October 15.

Charcoal fires on boats at docks.


Dumping refuse on roads or in harbors.  All personal garbage must be taken to the transfer station.

Camping, except by special permission of the town council.

Sleeping overnight in vehicles or on beaches.

Beach Fires without a permit.   A permit may be granted at the Police Dispatch office located at the Police Station.


If you should have an accident, or witness an accident, PLEASE do not hesitate to seek help from the Rescue Squad.  Block Island has an excellent volunteer rescue squad that will attend to accident victims at no charge.  If you are ambulatory but require some first aid or medical care, you may stop at the Police Station on Ocean Avenue or at the Medical Center on Payne Road during regular office hours.