Opposition legislator Julian Fraser has said he believes the considerable number of motor scooter riders not complying with the law to wear protective helmets is partly because of the low fines associated with the offence.
According to the territory’s road safety regulations, the fine for an individual riding a motorcycle without a helmet is $50.
“This guy riding the bike is only concerned about one thing — looking good. He figures the amount of girls that will see him and like him because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. He isn’t going to wear a helmet, and police officers are not going to chase him either,” Fraser said.
Fraser said most police officers neglect to enforce the territory’s road laws because of an indolent attitude towards policing — particularly as it relates to road safety regulations.
He said: “They allow things to happen because they just don’t want to be bothered.”
‘Riders seem to own the road’
Fraser was at the time responding to a female constituent at a recent community meeting at the Valerie O Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cow’s Bay.
At the time, the resident described scooter riders as having too much leeway to operate recklessly on the road.
“They seem to own the road,” she said. “They can come between the cars and then go ahead even if the light is red. No police in sight, nobody to give them a ticket, no helmets on, nothing.”
She argued that the territory should be concerned about the cost factor associated with these non-abiding scooter riders.
“If he falls off the bike and survives, who is it costing in terms of his healthcare? So all those factors we need to look at. But we just let them go and do whatever and next thing we are flying them out to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, wherever because we can’t handle the type of care that they need here. So it costs, so this is why we have to look at the cost, do we want to deal with the after-effects?” she added.
Recent road crashes
Recently, one scooter rider died while another motorist is in critical condition in a Trinidad-based hospital following two separate accidents on Tortola last weekend.
Keron Andrews, the young man who was involved in a near-fatal accident in Paraquita Bay late last Friday is now soliciting the assistance of crowdfunding to foot his hospital bills that have amounted to $25,000.
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