BVI News

Unbearable assault! Unemployed drag racers a nightly nuisance to residents — Lorna Smith

Lorna Smith.

Local businesswoman and former First Lady of the British Virgin Islands, Lorna Smith, wants authorities to intervene in what she refers to as an ‘unbearable’ nuisance brought on by unemployed drag racers during the night-time hours.

In an open letter addressed to the Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews and Governor Augustus Jaspert, Smith said the disturbance has been ongoing for the last two months.

She said it typically begins at 6 pm and lasts until midnight daily.

“… Sad to say motorbikers (unemployed) who have obviously removed the mufflers from bikes with the result that there is an unbearable assault on the ears of residents of Road Town and McNamara along Road Town to Sea Cow’s Bay drive, daily for this extended period of time,” Smith stated in the letter.

She further told authorities that she has written several letters on the issue in the past.

“I have been promised that a long term solution is in the making, but this matter has gotten only worse as bikers — many unlicensed, without helmets and other appropriate gear — continue to race up and down our streets without let or hindrance, pop a wheeling in the middle of traffic as I have said to you before until the early hours of the morning.”

It is wrong

Smith, who owns LGS & Associates which is located in the disturbed areas, said the situation is not right and rebuked the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force for allowing the disturbance to continue.

“[It] shows a complete abdication of responsibility by the police for law and order. I personally am forced to telephone every night at 11:30 pm asking for some assistance in ending the racket, but surely the police can at least bring an end to the noise nuisance that is created without having to be prompted to do so,” she argued.

Smith then pleaded for an end to the noise nuisance, which she said is also affecting the entire territory and its visitors.

Larger bikes now permitted

Her letter comes at a time when the Andrew Fahie administration announced that motorcycles with engine capacities that are more than 125 cubic centimetres (CC) will now be allowed into the territory.

The conditions that must be imposed to facilitate larger engine motorcycles into the territory include a revamp of the Department of Motor Vehicle’s old licensing process for motorcycles. The process will now be a three-prong licensing regime comprising compulsory basic training for every motorcycle rider, theoretical testing, and full rider testing.

Premier Fahie has also said his government has plans to turn drag racing into an official sport in the BVI. He said his government will begin its search for a designated area where the motorsport can be done freely.

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64 Comments

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  1. ybnbngdhgh says:

    Finally! It’s unbearable, someone in authority took notice!

    Like 47
    Dislike 3
    • Nature's Noisy Secret says:

      I am glad she addressed the issue because those riders are a bigger nuisance NOW. I was driving around on Christmas day and let me tell you, there were MANY bikes on the road and apparently they thought they all owned the roads cause they were riding in the MIDDLE of the road…one almost hit the right side of my vehicle right in front of UP’s. One resident addressed it on one of the community board and let me tell you the type of “muda s” that one particular young man posted was appalling…you can tell most of these riders have NO RESPECT for themselves or others.

      Like 67
      Dislike 1
      • Supa-Cop??? says:

        Self appointed Supa-Cop is missing in action – his forte seems to be easy offenses such as driving with no seat belt or using a phone. Is he scared of the m/c racers?

        Like 24
        Dislike 4
      • Rubber Duck says:

        Lorna is spot on. Why these things were ever allowed in the first place is unknowable.

        Many cities and places in the world have banned or are banning motorcycles, Shenzhen and Shanghai in China, Saigon, and significantly for some, Addis Ababa are getting rid of these dangerous nuisances.

        So should we.

        Like 4
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    • BVI says:

      Wait for the Big Bikes to hit the roads, then you will know what is unbearable noise. Remember Go2Go.com?

      Like 9
      Dislike 2
  2. Jacky says:

    It was the same way when her husband and her cronies was in power, how come is only now she realise it is a nuisance all of a sudden.

    Like 47
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  3. Quiet Rebel says:

    “Premier Fahie has also said his government has plans to turn drag racing into an official sport in the BVI. He said his government will begin its search for a designated area where the motorsport can be done freely.” Another unrealistic and unconventional nonsense. How about building on the sports that are dying on vine, ie, softball(in intensive care), cricket…etc before reaching for pie in the others. The VIP needs to focus on core issues; it needs to focus on and apply Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

    For example, on another competitive electronic news site, Thomas Famous, a Bermudian legislator with deep roots in Sea Cows Bay and Freetown Antigua, wrote eloquently and aptly about the dearth of local craftsmen, ie, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons, auto and diesel mechanics, air condition techs, IT,…..etc. Local folks are concentrated in administrative jobs in air condition spaces while high paying craft skills go unfilled by locals and are filled by “guest workers.” Training and retraining locals are one of the core competencies that the Premier should focus on; this is conventional. Stop the unconventional nonsense; this nonsense is only fueling the ego of a few, while the many are left wondering.

    Ok. I’m back from my digress. Lorna Smith, the former First Lady, is on point about the elevated noise. Elevated noise is nuisance that adversely impacts the quality of life and health of residents. If the noise nuisance(high decibels) is a nightly ritual for the last 2 months, why has the police not do any thing about it. The police rarely do any walking patrol anymore; they ride around in air condition cars. This nightly noise nuisance affects the sleep of working people and school children. Comish, let’s get at it. On a final note, how people on speak out on issues that affect them personally? Everything else, they don’t give a rat’s a$$ about.

    Like 42
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    • @quietrebel says:

      Lorna is on point for her own agenda. The same reason NDP con this country to be in power and do the country bad. Always read through the lines with NDP. I’d rather hear a complain from a rat before listen to any of them.

      Like 15
      Dislike 36
      • Bvigurl says:

        The issue still exists no matter who brings it up, what their party affiliation is, or when it was brought up. These bike riders are a nuisance and comments like yours suggest that nothing should be done because someone has an agenda. That way of thinking is counter productive…. part of the problem syndrome.

        Like 37
        Dislike 1
    • Billfargo says:

      In order to be competitive in drag racing (cars/bikes) one must be knowledgeable in mechanics whereby making the sport educational as well as entertaining; Unlike cricket and softball which are reflections of failed societies of the past and boring.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If they start at 6 pm, what is the basis for alleging the racers are unemployed? Sounds like a needless pejorative. Secondly, a bit ironic that the former first lady is asking for the alleged malfeasors to be held accountable since NDP refused to make anyone accountable for the various multimillion dollar fiascos under their watch. Perhaps Ms Smith is unaware that they make quite good quality ear protectors these days. No doubt she also has the means to move somewhere quieter.

    Like 21
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  5. Local Business says:

    The commissioner couldn’t manage a piss up in a brewery! Truly disheartened at how the Police are just absolutely missing in action.

    On more than one occasion I have watched our police just watch unlicensed, unprotected vehicles/drivers pass them by while weaving through traffic. I understand you can’t catch a scooter than weaves in and out of traffic but they all have a pretty good idea who the person is!

    We’re not asking for anything new, or for you to pick on a group of youths that have lost their way. We are simply asking you to enforce basic traffic laws already on the books.
    Noise pollution, unlicensed vehicles, unlicensed drivers, not wearing the appropriate safety gear, running red lights, speeding, aggressive driving, etc. etc!

    These young people assaulted our streets from East to West over the Christmas Season and not one Police intervention took place while everything from scooters, to 4 wheeler ATV’s, and high performance cars roared up and down our streets with dangerous and noisy driving!
    Do us a favour and STEP UP!!!!!

    Like 51
    Dislike 3
  6. Guess what! says:

    Why didn’t she complain when her husband was in office

    Like 15
    Dislike 42
  7. Well says:

    You can thank the Premier!

    Like 9
    Dislike 6
  8. Yes, please says:

    Now maybe something will be done about the problem. I have to get up at 4:00 a.m. for work and most nights I can hardly get a goodnight sleep due to those bikes making all that noise.

    Like 43
    Dislike 1
  9. Asking for a friend says:

    Why wasn’t this addressed from your previous letters and why those previous letters didn’t get the same publicity?

    PGuess the fix it Government of the day now needs to address all the hard issues that her previous Government refused to address.

    Like 7
    Dislike 23
  10. query says:

    How she know they are unemployed?
    And why are you up so late, d—ing that Holy W– huh?

    Like 7
    Dislike 29
  11. Tom says:

    Mmmmm ten months later it unbearable eh. Never believe anything about them NDP masterminds. Then fill with tricks.

    Like 4
    Dislike 16
  12. query says:

    How she know they are unemployed?
    And why are you up so late…

    Like 5
    Dislike 19
  13. smh says:

    Add the noisy, barking, tied up in the rain, hungry dogs in certain villages and you will get NO SLEEP or REST. The scooter riders came early last night but the yelping dogs did not hush until 3 a.m., then started again at 5 a.m. Shame on the dog owners and shame on the people who know what is going on and say or do nothing about it.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  14. Young man says:

    Let me inform this lady that this country does not belong to her alone and her immediate family.

    Like 10
    Dislike 41
  15. It is time to do somethging says:

    The bikes and the loud music. Guys, you are being unreasonable. At times I cannot hear my tv or hold a conversation on my phone. Sometimes every glass in my doors or windows rattle. The sad part in all this is that we know the persons responsible, they are our cousins, neighbors or even closer to us. Let there be peace, on the roadways, neighborhoods and all over.

    Like 50
    • sixpence says:

      Karma has its way. Sustained exposure to loud noise causes industrial deafness. Being deaf is isolating and offers a very poor quality of life.
      If your ears ring after the noise stops, like when leave a nightclub, your hearing has been affected. It might take few years but karma has its way.

  16. Okay says:

    Lorna has some points but so does the Premier. Lorna’s point is stop the bikers and ban them. The Premier’s point is get some land, legalize the sport and set it up properly and turn it into an industry. It is for this reason that I am ssssooooo glad that lorna is not in control of this place any more. We are with the Premier’s approach. Let’s get on with the Premier’s solution.

    Like 10
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    • J says:

      The Premier did mention a track. However, he never mentioned a plan to control to noise output of the bikes when they are heading to and from the track. He never mentioned a plan to ensure that the riders operate safely when they do traverse our streets. To make a long story short, the Premier’s plan will not solve our issue.

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
  17. i wanna know says:

    THE POLICE FORCE SOFT…HOW COME ONLY IN THE BVI THE BIKERS ARE OUT OF HAND???

    Like 23
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  18. Facts says:

    Most of these bikes are not licensed and insured and thats a fact. The police have authority to confiscate any and all unlicensed and uninsured vehicles operating on all public road and thats another fact. What is stopping the police from carrying out their duties that i dont know. Not only bikes but most of the trucks operating on the public roads are not licensed and insured amd thats another fact. Check it for yourself. Look at there windshield either outdated licence stickers or none at all. Something is wrong somewhere and that i dont know. And when it comes to dogs barking all night asked the senior police female officer why because she about a dozen thats barks all night.

    Like 18
  19. I wonder says:

    We are not on the discussion about barking dogs, the discussion is noisy bikes after hours. I wonder how Kye and the Premier would feel if motor bikes with loud engines continue to disturb them out of their sleep on a daily basis.

    Like 13
  20. Annoyed too! says:

    Thank you, Lorna, for calling them out. It’s an offensive occurrence at West End too, these juveniles in adult’s clothing, doing exactly the same thing.

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  21. Too late says:

    Been enduring this for years in Cane. Guess what? There are 2 1/2 months worth of empty room that would have been making money for the owner. That $$ is not going to the BVI. Moved on to quieter places where the residents are respectful of each other and visitors.

    Like 13
  22. She is correct says:

    The noise at nighttime from those bikes is out of control. I go to bed at 10 because I have to be up 5 and most times I don’t fall asleep until way after 12. The minute I start getting into my sleep, some damn bike would blow by with the loud noise. Honestly. I would take the barking dog.

    Like 13
    • Me to says:

      I would take the barking dog. My neighbor have two dogs and when they start at night, I would open my back door and tell the dogs hey, you need to cut the noise, for some reason they listen to me and stop.

  23. Want2Kno says:

    Will having “drag racing as a sport” stop the racing on the street?

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  24. Funny Stuff says:

    You know, I have been contemplating writing the Police Commissioner for a few months now about the madness I have been seeing take place in this country. Things taking place with zero police presence. But somehow I figured I would be wasting my time. And this article about Lorna’s constant complains to the Police’s deaf ears are just confirmation for me. And this statement here pretty much sums it up:

    “[It] shows a complete abdication of responsibility by the police for law and order”.

    That is pretty much the answer. And it boggles my mind as to why this is tolerated by government after government.

    Permit me to share a few of the things I’ve seen……

    Speeding, drag racing in the middle of town (cars) into oncoming traffic, holding down in traffic, driving without lights, running red lights, illegal turns, failure to stop at Stop Signs (they are invisible), parking on side walks, parking in front of No Parking Signs, parking close to intersections, riding without helmets, riding with toddlers in their lap, driving with toddlers in the front seat, driving without seat belts, driving on cell phones, trucks driving with litter flying out the back, no enforcement of littering laws period….

    I can go on all day but I’ll stop here… These people are being paid to do nothing (The traffic Division). There is only one guy consistently doing his job and they consider that super for some reason….

    Like 15
  25. Police the Police says:

    I think its high time we hold this police force accountable. These officers many of whom come here looking for the easy street. They don’t enforce any laws drive around all day with the Windows up enjoying the a.c. some of them commit traffic offences worse than the average motorist. WE NEED TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE NOW! When you see them doing nothing write down the plates on the cars they are diving. Report the derelict duties, maybe their bosses will see it and take action . Then again not! OAN the police report to the Governor not the Premier so its him who needs to check the commissioner and his officers

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  26. Bvi says:

    I think some of the ppl in the bvi need to migrate salt island, cause everything is a nuisance. Y’all time already has past let the future youths enjoy and develop the country.

    Dislike 17
  27. :) says:

    Let me get this out the way Lorna is absolutely correct in principle however this problem has existed for years and not just a recent problem. This problem has touched everywhere in the BVI. I dont know their employment status but I can say that when I was unemployed I couldn’t afford a bicycle yet alone buy a scooter or motorcycle.

    Now it seems like everybody find their voice this year. The blind starting to see and the deaf suddenly hearing because these scooter man been making noise for the last 8 years and Mark as minister for Traffic never brought this up. Skelton as minister for Health for 8 years who was also responsible for regulating the noise did nothing about it even though Elton Georges recommended updating the Noise Abatement Act in 2015.

    Mr. Georges presented statistics of the number of calls the RVIPF received in relation to noise pollution. It was revealed that the RVIPF from 2010 to 2013 responded to some 103 calls dealing with noise, an average of nearly 26 per year or two per month. The bulk of the complaints other than bars/nightclubs, neighborhood noise was motor vehicles including scooters.

    The entire report with recommendations that include amending/creating a new Noise Control act was placed in the HOA in 2015 and into the hands of the Governor and Skelton but nothing was done and like all other sensible things it was ignored now NDP out everybody want all the problems to be fixed in a few months.

    Mr. Georges as complaints commissioner may he rest in peace did his job while the ones with the real power NDP put the reports on the side so Lorna put on your ear muffs or make Doc sleep on the couch cuz this on NDP.

    Like 12
    Dislike 4
  28. The verdict says:

    Tell Lorna NDP is not in power… In her days people rode donkey , in the twentieth century Bikes are ridden.

    Like 1
    Dislike 14
  29. Anonymous says:

    It’s not which party in Power it’s the nuisance that the bike riders are creating on the roads 15 and 16 year old boys up and down the public roads creating a havoc parents are to be blamed for these kids.killing themselves and breaking parts of their bodies all who are in authority kindly act.now please put parties away and think about the pain and suffering families are going through when these kids bite the dust

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  30. Home Boy says:

    I’m in total agreement with Lorna Smith, these bikers are more than a nuisance they are also a dander to other innocent road users and themselves.

    Just a few nights ago I had to pull off the road to clear the way for them so I wouldn’t be involved in a serious accident. This situation is very serious and should have never reached this far.

    And now to add to it, VIP Government give them a license to have bigger bikes on our poorly maintained roads. When the serious motorcycle situation can’t be dealt with. We are in a serious situation, I do hope Ms Smith open letter to the Governor and Commissioner of Police don’t fall on defeat ears or until something really serious happens on our roads.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  31. yolo says:

    did you know that the hurricane windows are sound proof windows you got the money replace all you windows so no Barking dogs or motorcycle will harm your sleep.

    Like 2
    Dislike 9
  32. LCS says:

    Remote control boats in Brandywine Bay Beach noise is a big problem, as well, needing addressing.
    Police was given motorbikes to be able to pursuit bikers breaking the law. Where are them?

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
    • hmm says:

      The RC boats don’t make as much noise as the scooters with modified exhaust and the man dem out there racing them once or twice a week on the weekend for a couple hours in the afternoon… come on.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  33. Bobby says:

    Half of y’all drive like y’all get ur license out a cereal box look wa we really worried about this bs I want to why my water can’t stay on for a whole day why these pot wholes can’t get fix properly when the islander going give proper net when we going get proper price on these apartments Buh no we ga stop the noise First

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  34. Bikeman says:

    Those bikes y’all hearing is passing on the public road not in y’all yards the bikers trying to get where they are going. Those loud mufflers yall calling sells in stores and also help the bikes to climb yall stupid steep hills way better it is needed. The mufflers are not on bikes willfully to disturb anyone. I does hear loud music from cars all hours of the night but no one isn’t talking about that smh

    Like 3
    Dislike 8
  35. Ausar says:

    What I find difficult to understand, is WHY Dr. Smith, the former Premier and the husband of Mrs. Smith, did NOTHING to stop the madness!

    So you telling me that these types of noises just began, and previous governments were not bothered by these late night activities?

    I am missing something here. But what this statement alludes to, is the fact that there were lots that the Smith administration could have done and have refused to do.

    That we now have a FORMER First Lady speaking of such ills,says so much of the mishaps of the Smith’ years and should be a warning to the current administration, to “not leave behind an unfinished task”, less Mrs. Fahie, too, starts to detail in the twilight of her years, mishaps of the Fahie administration!

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  36. BVI says:

    And the Fahie led Administration want to do something as fools as permitting bikes above 125cc to be licensed. VIP will be a one term Government. Watch and you will see Mr. Premier.

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
    • Haha says:

      Having Bigger bikes should not be a problem. Cars have the ability to go over 100mph but few drivers have ever hit that speed in the BVI. The speed limit and just the road infrastructure itself in the BVI is enough to deter most drivers. Drivers have also been injured in killed in the BVI due to reckless driving but that doesn’t and didn’t warrant a total ban on vehicles. A nice fine of $5000 to the Court, ban from riding, compensation to any victim and no less than a year in jail should be enough to deter most idiots from breaking the law. The slap on the wrist encourages a lot of would be criminals.

  37. Unbelievable says:

    Imagine, she is annoyed with what she started. Blame yourself and come up with a solution instead of whining.

  38. Concerned says:

    Mrs Smith speaks for many of us. The noise from these scooters is unbearable; this includes loud noise from cars. If things do not change, we are going to have population of deaf people!

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