The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) said there have been 17 scooter accidents since the start of the year.
In the year 2015, there were 40 scooter accidents reported, and 54 in 2016.
“This year’s average is said to be higher than previous years, with one fatality since 2014,” said a media release from the Government Information Service.
In light of the number of scooter crashes, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has joined the RVIPF in an outreach programme to sensitise motorists about the importance of safe riding on the territory’s roadways.
Commissioner at the Department of Motor Vehicles Kye Rymer said: “We are concerned with the increase in scooter accidents, and have found it important to lend our voice, and personally reach out to scooter riders about wearing safety gears and riding safely on the road.”
The outreach programme commenced on March 27 at the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies and the St George’s Secondary School.
Rymer further said: “We are starting at the school level, as you can obtain a scooter licence at the age of 16. So we thought it necessary to go into the schools and speak to those scooter riders and potential scooter riders in order to educate them on road rules and regulations of our territory.”
“We are speaking to them about the importance of wearing safety gears like helmets, proper clothing and shoes while riding a motor cycle that can save their life in the event of an accident,” Rymer added.
“Along with using protective gear, we are showing them the best practices in riding a scooter that can prevent serious injuries or death. We need to protect the future generation and this is how we are doing our part.”
Rymer further stated that ensuring the safety of operators, passengers and vehicles on the public roads has always been the goal of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the focus is on scooter safety.
In the meantime, according to the Road Traffic Regulations, a person may learn to drive a motorcycle at the age of 16 and above.
A Motorcycle/Scooter Written Test must then be completed, a learner’s permit when learning to ride obtained, and the Motorcycle/Scooter Road Skills Test successfully completed to obtain a scooter licence.
Rymer said the Motorcycle/Scooter Road Skills Test consists of doing a series of figure eights and fast stops.
He added that scooter riders should remember the seven scooter safety tips while riding:
1. Always wear a helmet
2. Know your scooter’s limits
3. Watch your speed
4. Keep your distance from other vehicles
5. Use both brakes
6. Avoid blind spots
7. Always use signals.
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