Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews believes the BVI should improve its road network and develop a comprehensive safety programme before larger motorcycles are introduced in the territory.
His remarks follow Premier Andrew Fahie’s announcement this week that government intends to approve the use of jet skis and ‘
Fahie said the move would help boost tourism and create new business opportunities. He, however, said policies and proper monitoring must be implemented to facilitate the move.
Currently, motorcycles with an engine capacity of more than 125 CCs (cubic centimetres) are not permitted in the territory. Jet skis are typically known to have higher CC capacity, BVI News understands
Last year, former Junior Minister for Trade, Marlon Penn, said a policy was being developed for the operation and distribution of jet skis. He said the policy is to ensure that jet skis are used in a manner he described as ‘more comprehensive and more controlled’.
Commissioner Matthews said he is not against the idea of allowing high-CC watercrafts such as jet skis into the territory. He said his only concern is ensuring “safety”.
“While there are things that I have already said to the Cabinet in that regard, we must get our roads right first. Our roads need to be safe so that anyone using them can use them in a safe manner and after that, of course, it will be all about education.”
The commissioner said the police is already faced with a challenge of motorcycle users not wearing the required safety gears.
“There needs to be a big education process if we are going to increase the size. We need to have safety at the forefront of our minds in terms of the skills of the rider, and there should be a test that they would have to pass to be given a license for a bigger bike,” Matthews said.
In the past, Matthews and his team at the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force have sought to clamp down on motorcycle misuse in the territory.
Matthews went as far as calling on legislators to implement stricter penalties for scooter riders such as having the bikes confiscated and crushed when they are misused.
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