The Government’s three week-ban of three-wheel or less vehicles, which includes motorbikes and scooters, from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am, has been receiving mixed reactions from members of the public.
Host of Honestly Speaking, Mr Claude O. Skelton Cline, who has long spoken out against the recklessness of bikers, addressed the issue on ZBVI 780 AM last night, June 4, 2020, saying he supports the Andrew A. Fahie-led regime on this ban.
Ban or ‘bike park’
“I know some of you are going to get mad at me- for those of you who ain't mad already- [but] I am in full support of these scooters being highly regulated.”
He added: “remember I told you a few weeks ago, its either we ban these things or we are going to keep burying our young people.”
Skelton Cline said, his other suggestion was to construct a ‘bike park’ somewhere where youngsters can do whatever they please in that designated area on their scooters, bikes, and other similar vehicles.
He said this could be done for those riders who are seen daily riding without helmets and performing all manner of stunts on the highway, putting their lives, and the lives of others at risk.
He said while it may not be welcomed in all quarters, his suggestion is simple.
Hold a meeting with bikers
Mr Skelton-Cline also said, in light of the number of these types of vehicles that are illegal in the Territory, without licence and insurance, and users of these machines not following the traffic laws, an opportunity should be created for them to be fully legalised.
“What I want to suggest to the Minister for the subject is you call a big meeting over the next 13 days and ask all the bikers to show up and tell them to bring their bikes and have the Department of Motor Vehicles right down there in the festival grounds.”
He pointed out that during that time bikers would be given the opportunity to meet with insurance companies to insure their vehicles, and with DMV to license them.
“If you want to ride your bike, if you want the curfew lifted off from you, legalise yourself!”
On the opposite side of the spectrum, vocal resident Rosemary R. Rosan-Jones aka 'Cindy' wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday, June 4, 2020, that the entire matter was discriminatory.
She said: “The ease in which the cabinet of the BVI continues to infringe on the rights of the citizens and residents of these Virgin Islands is frightening. Every resident should be alarmed at this point in time.”
She added: “I don’t care if it is for a day. You cannot continue to use COVID
-19 as a cover to infringe on our rights. The innocent should not suffer for your inability to put proper legislation, guidelines and policing in place to manage a few lawbreakers.”
When Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) made the announcement of the ban earlier this week; he said it was in accordance with the Road Traffic Act, (CAP. 218), Section 56 and it was “for the safety and convenience of the public," including bikers.
Exemptions to bike ban
In a Statutory Instrument (Regulations) signed June 4, 2020, by the Minister for Transportation Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5), the ban, which expires on June 25, 2020, “does not apply to residents travelling to or from work”.
The ban also does not apply to any resident who works in the essential services areas, along with security guards employed by a private security service provider, Customs and Immigration officers among others.