PHILIPSBURG–Justice Minister Anna Richardson said during the live Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday that she will enforce a crackdown on motorcyclists and scooter riders who are making use of public roads during the 24-hour curfew.
“[I – Ed.] have taken notice of numerous complaints by residents regarding the reckless behaviour of motorcycle and scooter riders on the public roads. Riders continue to be a nuisance in residential areas by blatantly disobeying lockdown measures, by racing and performing other hazardous stunts.
“There have been reports by emergency personnel permitted to be on the roads of riders endangering others by riding into oncoming traffic. Most recently, complaints received by the Police Force indicate that there is a high volume of bikers on the road not adhering to the 24-hour curfew. Patrols are constantly being called out from their regular duties of serving and protecting St. Maarten citizens during this state of emergency due to this recklessness,” said Richardson.
She said that all motorcyclists and scooter riders who are unable to show an emergency waiver/disaster pass, a licence to operate a motorcycle/scooter, proof of ownership of vehicle, insurance, and paid road tax will have the vehicle confiscated by police.
“The motorcycle/scooter vehicle will remain confiscated until proof of [these] documents are provided and a fine is paid … While these sorts of controls were being done in the past, effective as of April 7, the Police Force of St. Maarten [KPSM] has been instructed to make this an active and continuous practice to control any and all bikers.
“Any motorcycle and/or scooter riders who are permitted to be on the road for essential delivery purposes must wear a helmet as stipulated in Article 59a of the Road Traffic National Ordinance.
“All unpermitted riders are advised to cease and completely refrain from riding on the public roads without the proper documents that are required by law. Failure to comply will result in the bike being confiscated by the authorities, fines and/or arrest,” said Richardson.