By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has reported that the majority of motorcyclists in the BVI are not adhering to government’s temporary night-time ban which has been in effect since June 4.
Head of the Police Traffic Division, Sergeant (Sgt) Augustus Bruce told BVI News that the RVIPF has been unsuccessful in apprehending suspects breaching the said ‘5 pm to 5 am’ motorcycle curfew.
“To be honest, there are very few persons who are in compliance with that, because people are still out on the road on the motorcycles or scooters.”
Residents actions hindering the success of operations
Sgt Bruce also said measures taken by the RVIPF to capture motorcyclists in breach of the ban have been hindered partly because of the actions of some residents.
“As soon as you put an operation in place and once persons only see you on the road, the Facebook is being plastered with the presence of us (the RVIPF) on the road, and they make it much more difficult for us because then people start to use different areas, or they just stay silent for a while until we are off the road,” the traffic cop said.
“Because of the size, a lot of the scooters are getting away because they can easily maneuver through traffic even if you put a traffic stop. So, it’s not much of a success so far that we have gotten or accomplished during that time,” he added.
Motorcycles in breach of law will be seized
Sgt Bruce, however, warned that all motorcyclists found to be in breach of the territory’s traffic laws will have their bike seized in addition to being charged.
“As long as we stop you, we are going to report you for the breach of the curfew once you find yourself outside of the confinement of the law. You are not an essential worker and once you do not fall within the bracket, we are going to take the motorcycle because you are in breach of curfew,” Sgt Bruce stated.
He added: “Our intention is to seize the motorcycles, so when we stop you and you do not have a license or insurance, we are going to seize it until the proper documentation could be presented, and then you will be able to get back the motorcycle.”
Three-week ban extension due to negligent riders
In the meantime, the night-time ban on motorcycles has been extended until July 16, pending a further review.
Transportation Minister Kye Rymer said the extension — which is an additional three weeks from the original June 25 date — is because of some riders observed riding recklessly and not wearing helmets while traversing local roadways.
No leniency given to motorcyclists in breach of laws
Minister Rymer said he has communicated with the RVIPF to fully enforce the territory’s traffic laws to riders found in breach.
“Persons unwilling to adhere to the law that grants them the privilege of riding freely will not be given any quarter or leniency in the parts of the law that speak to the offences,” he stated.
Persons who are exempted from the 5 pm to 5am ban on motorcycles include essential workers, security guards employed by a private security service provider, Customs and Immigration officers, as well as persons traversing to and from work.
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