Over the last few years, the popularity of scooters and motorcycles have increased especially among young men in the territory. However, Police Commissioner Mark Collins said the biggest complaint he has received is the noise level of these motorbikes on the territory’s roads.
The Commissioner said the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) confiscated approximately 150 illegal scooters and motorcycles last year.
“This is by far the most complaints about a situation I get in the Virgin Islands
. Every day I get complaints about noise and in relation to mufflers and this is causing a quality-of-life issue for our residents. I am working with our government and other departments to reduce this as much as I can. I raised this at the National Security Council, and I have the support of the council and working with ministers to abate this noise problem,” Commissioner Collins said.
The top cop said while illegal scooters and their noise level present one of the biggest challenges the police force has faced since his appointment, he has tasked his Road Policing Unit to come up with a plan in consultation with other departments and agencies. Commissioner Collins said it has been going on for some time and the RVIPF needs to get a grip on it.
“It’s not only about law enforcement, it’s not all about enforcing the law and giving people tickets. It is about education and working with people and giving people incentives to be insured,” the top cop stated.
The Commissioner also noted the Christmas period proved difficult as scooter riders were ‘hell-bent’ on making noise and causing problems to residents with loud mufflers and little regard for anyone.
“I can only imagine these were Christmas presents from many parents and family. The problem with scooters in the territory is like bailing water out of a leaking boat. Whilst we continue to fight, law enforcement cannot be our only solution,” Commissioner Collins explained.
He noted that over the last two years, the police have recorded at least six scooter-related fatalities.
“Every one of those fatalities is a brother, a son, an uncle, a nephew, a loved one who has left a family behind. That is vitally important in getting that message across about safety on the road. We don’t have some of the best roads in the world and to be driving recklessly on these roads is a concern. I want to work with colleagues in other departments to ensure that we maximise every opportunity to be safe,” Collins said.
Since the beginning of 2022, there have been six reported motor vehicle accidents in the territory; five of them involving scooters. The last accident occurred on January 23 when a scooter collided with an SUV at Hodge’s Creek.
Reports indicated the scooter was on the wrong side of the road and collided with the oncoming vehicle. Over the last few years, scooter-involved accidents have accounted for most of the crashes that occur on the territory’s roads.