BVI News

Better roads, education needed before bigger bikes allowed in BVI

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews

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 ‘certain sized bikes’ in the BVI.

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’.

Safety first

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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51 Comments

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  1. go sid dun says:

    u need go solve crime!!!!!!!

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  2. Rules, rules, rules says:

    But nooooo enforcement. Bad idea to make these changes – go and solve crimes and write tickets for drives without helmets!

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  3. WTF says:

    I AGREE WITH YOU MR MATTHEWS. WE HAVE SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS TO DEAL WITH. AND THIS IS WHAT ANDREW IS SAYING??? WOW!! THESE YOUNG MEN ARE DYING AND CAUSING SO MANY ACCIDENTS ON THESE SCOOTERS. WHY WOULD THIS GOVERNMENT WANNA MAKE MATTERS WORSE BY DOING THIS. THIS MAKES NO SENSE. ANDREW CAN YOU PLEASE THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT THIS PLEASE. ITS GONNA CAUSE MORE DEATHS AND MORE PROBLEMS HAVING THESE BIKES. WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO PLEASE? THIS GENERATION HAS NO REPECT FOR ANYONE OR THE LAWS…COME ON ANDREW I THOUGHT BETTER OF YOU.

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    • Gsxr says:

      Hush yuh s***t people die in car accidents too legalizing bigger bikes and jet ski would be great for the Bvi. As u heard what he said safety is first. U jus a hater when last u heard a young man die off a bike?. F*****g clown

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      • Really says:

        I totally agree with u. I bet the kinda money the government is pay n him he hasn’t made any difference in the deterrent in crimes. WHATS THE MURDER RATE COMPARED 2 BIKES & CAR CRASHES!?!?!?!

  4. Start off on the right foot says:

    Allow any sized motorcycle, as long as it’s electric.

    Aside from safety there is also a noise issue with motorcycles and scooters.

    Think forward, start the road to electrified transportation with those who want higher powered motorcycles.

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  5. Hello says:

    On the matter of roads. I’m concerned about what would happen during the August Monday parade if the ambulance had to make an emergency run from uptown to the hospital. This also concerns other emergency vehicles.

    We just do not want to wait until a life is at stake or a building is ablaze etc…

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  6. agreed says:

    I totally agree, these matters do work hand in hand.

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  7. LB says:

    I agree with you 100% Commish. We opened up to scooters with very limited regulations and now they are a hazard and a nuisance on our roadways. yes the innocent will have to suffer for the guilty. Jet Skis for personal use will be the same lawlessness unless we put a proper framework in place including an enhanced Marine Police unit who can monitor activity across our coasts. Skis will be used for smuggling and other nefarious activities. We must be able to monitor, regulate and enforce the framework that we put in place.

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  8. TIME says:

    time to get a new commissioner to solves crimes and doesnt make excuses. No Helment, treat it like no seat belt. FINE THEM. no chase needed either take a picture of them and the bike

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  9. Ohh BOI says:

    a real fo fo. Lets invest multi millions to solve a hundred dollar issue. If it had more bikes and less cars on the road in the first place the roads would last longer. Some people really come to the VI to vacation instead of work

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  10. Truth says:

    The road network needs to be properly repaired and a proper system put in place as it relates to who would be able to buy and operate the bigger bikes. Once things are put in place the cc limit should be increased to 600 and enforcement must be a must. I hate to say it but something tells me once the cc limit is lifted the cops will have their hands full with this. The 125 cc scooters are a nuisance and out of control, imagine officers trying to deal with those powerful bikes on our roads?

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  11. Jay says:

    FFS…If our roads are good enough to drive and ride a 125cc bike on, they are good enough for bigger bikes. Yes, there should be an upgraded license necessary to legally operate the larger displacement bikes and wearing a helmet needs to be mandatory, but Instead of trying to stall the legalization of larger bikes, Matthews should instead focus on getting his officers to enforce helmet laws and persons riding unlicensed bikes.

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  12. @go sid dun says:

    Truth is, the gentleman is a good qualified human being with one exception, his interest in solving violent crimes here will not be paramount unless those crimes affect UK expats and or nationals directly.

    His and others like him sole purpose here is to maintain colonial rule of the absentee colonial ruler A legacy that has no end in sight it seems.

    It will take some time more before we gain our absolute freedom that we are suppose to have, but do not.

    They care nothing about solving our violent crimes against us. It is not in their DNA to do so.. If they did, more expert crime solving resources would’ve been applied centuries ago. Their still prevalent and only visible idea still in place after centuries is to build prisons.

    We know of her majesty prison, but yet, after centuries of forced colonial illegal ownership, we are yet to see her majesty’s institute of criminology.

    Therefore, all of us must do our part in assisting the law in solving any violent crime that has and will continue to bother our conscience.

    Shut mouth must be opened, and law enforcement must take some responsibility for that by re-directing some of that budget money for that purpose.

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    • Thoughtful Sailor says:

      To be precise, according to the most recent US Coast Guard figures, of accidents involving rented boats, just over 60% involved jet skis.

      Of injuries occurring on rented boats, just under involved jet skis.

      Of the five most common causes of boating accidents, by far the greatest number involved alcohol. Operator inexperience and speed were two other of the five, plus operator inattention.

      Let’s see….if this is going to be a revenue making tourist industry, the jet skis will be rented and the operators are likely to fit several of the above profiles, and maybe all. Or do we think they will be trained, experienced, sober folks, going at a low speed?

    • ? says:

      He’s the best we have so get over it. Completely incorrect that he’s only interested in crimes towards ex-pats, you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

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  13. Lilian says:

    You have got a point Sir.

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  14. Bunk says:

    If the roads are good enough for police to ride their 750cc motorcycles, then they are good enough for civilians to do the same.

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  15. Eagle eye says:

    Mr Mathews needs to tell the public why were they illegal in the first place.the roads are good enough now so poor excuse.pass the bill let’s do this thing.

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  16. Quiet Warrior says:

    To improve quality of life, economic growth, public safety……..etc, the road network needs to be redesigned, reconstructed, maintained……..etc. Effective economic growth and development is a function of having a First World infrastructure, ie, water, wastewater, electricity, ports, roads, telecommunications, drainage, gas…..etc. No doubt safety job 1 to protect life and protect. The RVIPF needs to enforce rules of road, enhancing public safety.

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  17. Concerned says:

    Go sid dun.. you are so foolish… i guess you are one of them who does call your friends to tell them that the police coming fu ayo..
    I agreed with the commissioner..Have you seen how reckless those small engine bikers ride?
    Have you seen the increase in crime since these menace can easily escape with small bikes.
    Why should we accommodate larger bikes when smaller ones are such a big problem?

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    • go sid dun says:

      u are the foolish one, u think having a higher cc bike is the problem no its the parents and officers who don’t do wat they are suppose to do. Pass the bill and make sure there are stiff penalties for ppl who don’t abide by the rules simple. A next thing is tint, that should be lifted to a certain level also. ppl who put it on there windshield should be charge heavily

  18. Thoughtful Sailor says:

    To the best of my knowledge, any policy being developed for jet skis, is being done so with absolutely no input from the marine sector. One of the reasons we have so many sailing charters is that our waters are largely devoid of things like Jet Skis, which, by the way cause a large majority of all boating accidents, injuries and deaths. It’s not the jet skis, themselves, but the way they are operated, despite attempts at training and regulation. Does the government know that, in the US, the entire rest of the boating industry has separated itself from the jet ski lobby, so universally is it understood that they are a menace? Has ANY research been done, other than napkin calculations of, “gee, if X number of cruise ship guests use jet skis, we will make Y number of dollars”, while destroying the territory for its existing sailing charter industry? I remember when the former Ports director, now a VIP mouthpiece, suddenly threw out the idea of jet skis as an economic engine a few years ago. I was shocked. Talk about talking off the top of one’s head. I certainly hope that more analytical minds will get to work on this one and do some serious research, before it goes too far.

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  19. nick says:

    jet skis are a nuisance.if you want to destroy the charter industry,bring some jet skis in.

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  20. What? says:

    What’s here to talk about with jet skis? There’s already a jet ski business in VG.

  21. Hopefull says:

    Mr.Fahie, you need to stop being a politician and start being a leader….
    We donot need bigger bikes, we donot need Jet Ski’s.
    The BVI jet ski ban is the envy of the world only a small minority want them and they ruin the bay for everyone else.. do you honestly believe you can regulate their use?? Back to the bikes, we can’t control the little scooters and you want to allow bigger bikes?
    Lead the BVI as a leader knowing what is right, not lead the BVI being told by a select few what is good for them. Ask your TOURIST dept at the next show they attend or at the Tennis match we paid $350k to watch if jet skis would encourage the tourists to come to the BVI….
    Now if only our forefathers had also thought about reducing the size of commercial vehicles/private cars we would really be the envy of tourist destinations….

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  22. Resident says:

    A big fat no to jet skis. They will actually reduce tourism by chasing away the big spenders – those that charter yachts in the BVI and spend tons of money. St Lucia is currently loosing it’s transient yachting sector because of obnoxious and dangerous habits of jet skiers in the normally tranquil anchorages. Wake up politicians…..!!

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  23. Tara says:

    How about helmet laws like the rest of the world?
    And jet skis??? No!

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  24. Anonymous says:

    It is absolute madness to consider bigger motor bikes. Unnecessary and there is a complete lack of ability even with the smaller bikes. The roads are a playground and increasing the power of the bikes will simply mean more injuries and deaths. Very strange idea. Jet ski’s if well regulated yes but bikes affect many other road users and I am already disgusted by the complete lack of care shown by so many motor bike users here. Crazy idea

  25. true says:

    I have to agree, the cars can scarcely manage these horrible roads much less motor bikes.

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  26. ms says:

    THOSE WHO ARE IN CHARGE MUST LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICGTURE OF THE BVI — PLEASE DON ‘T PUSH THE BVI TOO FAR AND LOOSE IT’S TRUE BEAUTY. WORK ON HOLDING ON TO WHAT MAKES YOU THGE BVI AND NOT PUCH THE ISLANDS TO FAR. PLAN – PLAN – PREPARE.
    THE ISLAND NEED MORE BUS TRANSPORTATION – PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS A MUST BEFORE YOU CONSIDER BIKES FOR THE BVI. CONSIDER THE PEOPE OF THE BVI – PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS NEEDED. THE GOVERNMENT MUST THINK IN A COLLECTIVE MANNERD. UPGRADE THE ISLAND AND WORK ON UPGRADING LOOK AND PROVIDE MORE FOR AND PEOPLE

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  27. Musa says:

    Pass the bill and the feneral home will be be busy and big big will go bankrupt.

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  28. Hmm says:

    No Mr Mathews the problem is not education the problem is that some of your officers do not enforce the law.

    I have seen scooter riders pull up next to police vehicles, traffic officers on the highway.

    The riders dont have on helmets and the police did nothing and this is on more than one or two occasions.

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  29. CC says:

    Just what this territory needs, bigger bikes. More stress on our health care system which we all have to mandatorily pay for. Bike owners can’t even handle the smaller ones they currently have. Where is the sense in this?

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  30. Billfargo says:

    Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness! Bike riders don’t need anyone who even can’t or never even ride a bicycle, can’t swim much less ride a Jet Ski making laws to protect their own interest which is their Job security and that is what it is all about. I was riding motorcycles from time I was 12 years old and if I had to wait until the government of the BVI built roads,then I would have still been uneducated much less enjoying the trills of riding and racing motorcycles at the highest level in the United States. Why not make laws limiting the size of engine in Cars, Truck, Speed-Boats and all the other heavy equipment that the uneducated operates without formal training. Yes! I also like to fly aeroplanes upside down; Is that unsafe also? (No law in the world can protect one from himself), Let the youth be adventurous and be all that they can be. Should man be restricted from going into space? Why do you fly on aeroplanes and not travel on sailing boat? It is because everyone love speed and love to go fast. Alcohol is legal and available so how is it that everyone is not drunk everyday? In conclusion; Think about it, and remember: What you eat don’t makes me sh– .

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  31. Billfargo says:

    White people was riding big bike in Tortola when Black People didn’t know how to ride, much less afford one, and no one was talking about taking their stuff and crushing it. Why now? It is because Black People are too free in the land of their birth and now the White-Man come to change that…………But soon and very soon the youth will rise up and the Queen of England and all she have would not be able to oppress the youth of the BVI anymore………

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  32. what a ting says:

    I believe in the progress of a country.People are entitled to his or her opinion. However, Hon Fahie, what the Comm. says make all the sense in the world for the safety of the nation, make sure the roads can accommodate the traffic first.In the meantime, teach driving life skills to the youth using the bikes, by putting safety laws in place, PARENTS teach your young ones to RESPECT law,and authority; teach them to be courteous and it takes nothing from you to do that. Hon Fahie, educate the youn adults about the safety of Jet skiing. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of doing it in the territory. BE a leader not a politician. Look at the pros and cons and see the whis outweighs the other for the good o gthe country.Be rational not emotional.

  33. Agree says:

    Mr. Matthews I agree with you 100% there are more important things to focus on especially getting back Elmore Stoutt high school to full day classes.

  34. Agree says:

    Mr. Matthews I agree with you 100% there are more important things to focus on especially getting back Elmore Stoutt high school to full day classes. The government needs to focus on the important matters first

  35. LIKE REALLY!!! says:

    I swear y’all run this country off of dictatorship. Y wasn’t that ur speak 2 the former government that was in? Is legalizing bigger bikes a crime, y is it of such a interest2 u Mr White man, does England have any big bikes?!?!?
    I think the real problem is that it hurts u2 c the power a black man has 2 make such a change with a law that has put them banish on big bike 4 no sensible reason.
    & BY THE WAY DO U NO THE REASON Y THEY WERE BANDED MR WHITE MAN

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    • Billfargo says:

      If everyone of the youth that had a bike that he work and save his hard own money to buy, taken and destroyed by anyone,I personally would encourage them to start celebrating Pope Night where ever that individual lives. (Jean Jacques Dessalines)–We have dared to be free. Let us dare to be so by ourselves and for ourselves. Leaving nothing white behind you.

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    • Billfargo says:

      In so many words: You have a White Man straight out saying that the roads in the BVIs is bad and all those who want to ride a real Motor Cycle is dumb and uneducated, and all the so-called Leaders just stand by and say: Yes Marsa White Man we are really Dumb and Uneducated and we don’t need no bigger bikes. Maybe I am the only one that see things differently!

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      • Billabong says:

        Nothing is wrong with bigger bikes or jet skies in the BVI all over the world has bigger bikes what’s the difference when these guys who have the fast cars mustangs corvette chargers etc showing off their power and speed in the heart of town and elsewhere I’ve seen guys spun out of control but luckily manage to get back in control if ur on a bike helmets is required at least treat it like a seatbelt offense

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