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‘Ban all scooters in VI’- Claude O. Skelton-Cline

- said politicians would be afraid to agree with him because they are only concerned about the next vote
Host of the radio show, Honestly Speaking, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline (right) has called for a complete ban on motor scooters. Photo: VINO/Youtube
A scooter rider (left) being taken to an ambulance after he was hit by a vehicle while on his motor scooter on March 16, 2017. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
A scooter rider (left) being taken to an ambulance after he was hit by a vehicle while on his motor scooter on March 16, 2017. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews has said the numerous detained scooters presently at the Road Town Police Station is testament that the police force has been working to curb the lawlessness exhibited by scooter riders but the problem also has to be corrected by tougher laws and educating the public and scooter users. Photo: VINO/File
Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews has said the numerous detained scooters presently at the Road Town Police Station is testament that the police force has been working to curb the lawlessness exhibited by scooter riders but the problem also has to be corrected by tougher laws and educating the public and scooter users. Photo: VINO/File
An accident involving a motor scooter and a rental jeep at Pockwood Pond, Tortola on October 2, 2012. Photo: VINO/File
An accident involving a motor scooter and a rental jeep at Pockwood Pond, Tortola on October 2, 2012. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In light of the recent shootings and the numerous previous incidents involving scooters and their riders, radio personality Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is calling on government to ban the use of scooters in the Virgin Islands (VI).

Mr Skelton-Cline was at the time speaking with Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews on his radio programme, Honestly Speaking, aired on ZBVI 780 AM, Tuesday November 28, 2017.

Misuse of scooters

The shooting of three persons, two of whom died, in the West End area on November 22, 2017, perpetrated by two persons riding scooters has heightened the concerns of residents as it relates to the use of motorcycles. That incident, added to the many deaths and injuries caused by improper use of scooters in the past, was enough for the radio host to call for a full ban on the use of scooters in the VI.

“I am in favour of the complete ban on scooters in our country for two reasons; we have seen a tremendous amount of our young people who have died, riding these things, being reckless and careless…and because they are now being used in criminal activity to do what they do and then escape,” Mr Skelton- Cline said.

He highlighted the incidents of high school boys, without helmets, picking up high school girls and riding off somewhere. “Young people getting involved in accidents not only affects them but also the families to which they belong.”

It’s all about the next vote

Mr Skelton-Cline believes that legislators have been failing to act against the problem of scooters because they are afraid it might affect their vote getting.

According to him, politicians and those not in favour of the ban should ask themselves, “What is it that is in the public good?” Though he agrees that scooters could be used as “an easy, inexpensive mode of transportation,” he noted that right now their use has become something else.

“Legislators need to step in because if you can’t use something responsibly, then there has to be a law in place that says to you now you’ve abused this. For the exception of those persons who have businesses and rentals, have then exist but rent to tourists. Not where the young people wear no helmet, dashing in and out of cars, running through lights, it’s just crazy.”

It’s a behaviourial issue- Commissioner Matthews

Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews said since day one of being in the Virgin Islands, one of the first things he has been asked is “What are you going to do about all these unlawful scooter riders?” He too agrees that scooters can be useful and have their place in society but that they are out of control in the VI. According to him, the numerous detained scooters presently at the Road Town Police Station is testament that the police force has been working on the issue.

Mr Matthews identified that a big part of the problem is not necessarily a law issue but a behaviour issue, noting that parents and adults who purchase these scooters for the young people are to be held responsible. “We can carry on seizing illegal scooters… but we are not actually making a dent in terms of the behaviour of scooter riders.” He continued by saying that "parent who buy scooters for their children have a responsibility to ensure that they wear helmets, are licensed and insured and ride the bikes in a responsible manner.”

“There is no doubt the evidence of some of the fatal accidents that we have seen in the territory, in my short period here, where young men in particular have been killed riding a scooter, there is no doubt the evidence that is emerging from our investigation is the way the scooter was being ridden, essentially inexperienced riders or riders doing dangerous things on the scooter that has led to then leaving their scooter, hitting the road and suffering or sustaining serious injuries.”

Educate the young public about scooters

Though the commissioner didn’t also call for a complete ban, he agrees that there needs to be an educational programme for young people in the territory.

Commissioner Matthews also said there are parents who may not be aware of the riding activities of their children, since groups often share bikes with their friends and has increased their motorcycle capability.

“I think we’re going to have stronger penalties, we perhaps need to increase the age from when it is legal to ride a scooter in the territory, but most of all what we need to do is have some legislation that says that your scooter, if you are seen riding it recklessly or you are caught without insurance or without a license, there has to be some really tough legislations on the books that says the police can seize it and we scrap it straight away.

“No messing about, take it down to the yard, put it in the crusher, remove it from the territory and that will send a very clear lesson to anybody that if they have made an investment in a machine, you’ve got to ride it safely and sensibly, otherwise the police service will come and take it away.”

41 Responses to “‘Ban all scooters in VI’- Claude O. Skelton-Cline”

  • OMG (29/11/2017, 08:44) Like (23) Dislike (46) Reply
    Sturpss teeth...This dude is no better than our current leadership. The scooters are not the problem! The poor state of our roads are the problem. The ignorant mentality of a lot of our young people in the territory is the problem. Banning scooters is not going to solve that.
    • NezRez (30/11/2017, 11:30) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
      I am so sick of hearing “ban the scooters”. Honest people are riding on scooters too. I am out every day and can see who the offenders are so why can’t the police? Those weaving in and out of traffic, no helmets, 2 people riding one scooter without helmets, speeding, I know for a fact a lot don’t have insurance. Since a scooter can outrun a police car, why don’t they have the police carry cameras to take the plate number of the scooters and then go to their house and catch them? All of this nonsense is just poor running in the department and not enforcing the laws, plain and simple,and if the ones in charge don’t know it, then why are they in charge? Get someone with guts to do the job correctly.
      • @nez (02/12/2017, 09:15) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
        You forgot what happened to the last set of officers who went to a persons home after...
      • tom (02/12/2017, 11:07) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        Yesterday on ridge road i saw a boy who looked to be approximately 12years old driving a scooter with the older boy approximately looking 17 years of age, sitting in the back. Quite a few of us were shocked. Where are the police? Come on, these guys are out in the open where everyone can see them. Then when I got near Red Cross, there was a police car in behind a scooter rider with no helmet. Maybe they didn’t want to cut into their lunch hour. This has to stop on the part of the police acting as though they don’t see. I will take pictures for now on and send them in, then there will be a lot of explaining to do as to why they are not enforcing the law.
      • get (06/12/2017, 10:14) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
        get supa cop, PERIOD!
  • 50cc (29/11/2017, 08:47) Like (15) Dislike (17) Reply
    Hope you could give a lift to the former scooter riders who would now become hitchhikers
  • RealTalk (29/11/2017, 09:23) Like (31) Dislike (19) Reply
    I guess wr have to ban cars too a gun man will use any form of transportation to get his job done
  • shame.... (29/11/2017, 09:26) Like (27) Dislike (5) Reply
    Skelton-Cline is the type of guy that will throw away the hammer if he hits finger trying to drive a nail
  • Bold (29/11/2017, 09:45) Like (29) Dislike (9) Reply
    Banning the scooter won't solve it..they should put a age bracket on it from 25 and up and all scooters must be licensed and registered to the owner and any under age person caught riding it will be seized upon owner the be questioned and pay a heavy charge for it
  • DON Q (29/11/2017, 10:17) Like (14) Dislike (12) Reply
    I disagree with Claude
  • nonsense (29/11/2017, 10:38) Like (44) Dislike (0) Reply
    We don't need to ban anything, we just need to get serious about enforcing the laws. Give an amnesty period of 3 months for all scooters to get their acts together and after that, it's SHOWTIME! No helmet? LOCKUP! No license/insurance? LOCKUP! Police should be posted all over cracking down hard on the idiots who do not abide by the laws. Consistent no-nonsense pressure will do the trick, we don't need to ban anything, we need PROPER ENFORCEMENT!!!
  • just asking.... (29/11/2017, 10:56) Like (4) Dislike (29) Reply
    How the hell my son going get around?
    • Sue (29/11/2017, 12:09) Like (31) Dislike (6) Reply
      You sound like a real stupid A** for a parent. How he used to get around before the scooter come on board. Parents like you is what encourages wrong.
    • just answering... (29/11/2017, 21:42) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Perhaps you as the parent can drive him around until he is old enough to be responsible enough ( good idea to increasing the age for which a driver can obtain licence to drive scooter Matthews. Perhaps 30 as a start, see how that goes then go lower from there?). Maybe children riding with their parents or other adults would help create or preserve a much needed bond and help drive out some of the anti-social issues that are increasingly prevailing in the territory. As for Skelton-Cline, ban scooters except for tourists? I guess there is a test to determine who is a tourist just by looking at them? (scratching my head). No smarty, it's either you ban or don't ban.
    • josiahbay (04/12/2017, 10:46) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      He'll qet around fine, he will just have to obey the laws. If he don't want to obey the laws then free transportation will be provided to Balsum Ghut.
  • Hmmmm (29/11/2017, 11:05) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Banning will solve the problem yes, but they will end up buy a vehicle which will add to the congestion we already facing.
    Implement stricter penalties for the riders. The Police to slack on them as it is as we speak here. The would just drive pass and look at them and wont do anything.
  • Bull Dawg (29/11/2017, 11:23) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    Very well said Mr. Nonsense.
    You hit the nail on the head.
    We just need proper and very strict rules put in place.
    You shouldn't have to wait until you are 25yrs.
    Not everyone can afford a new car.
  • Ban all Scooters (29/11/2017, 12:00) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Its like saying get Rid of all the police. Not realistic.. Too Radical.. Not good leadership.. Get the Police to enforce the daxxmmnn is a beyter
  • wize up (29/11/2017, 12:06) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok them; ban all scooters after we send the crooked politicians off to the jail house: those scooters are lawful vechicles: what need to be is more border patrols in an effort to curtail the importation of dope and guns....we need the matter solves NOT put a band aid on them...keep the faith
  • cc (29/11/2017, 12:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    People aint rich r get government money like you
  • oh (29/11/2017, 12:28) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    I say we Ban all foolish talk shows from airing in the BVI.
  • only when the Guns talk (29/11/2017, 12:29) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Seems like people in authority are only willing to listen and act when the Gun talks.. Scooters as a problem is an old, old issue. Now the Gun talks everyone is listening and didn't had to come to that if authorities were listening... only when a discruntled emplyee flip, go mad, they will be start talking about better protection for employees. Because I'm reading these blogs and hearing disgruntled employees daily.
  • Self banned (29/11/2017, 12:29) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply

    Claude needs to ban himself from the radio and internet talking p*ss & crap!

  • Officer T (29/11/2017, 14:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Strupes u talking ish the scooters not issue the riders are raise the age limit and reconmend a strick must done 2months course of rules regulation and at end every rider must have fulll gears. Amend some of the laws with stiff stipulations along with insurance policies. Traffic Boss
  • FBD (29/11/2017, 15:04) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Band all scooters of course. Lawlessness. For Months now there have been issues with scooters, get-a-way vehicle to stealing, accidents, death and the list goes on. Band them. l
  • Boo (29/11/2017, 15:31) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ban all talk show hosts...
  • Fra*d Skelton (29/11/2017, 16:08) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply

    Wa you don't ban your self's a mean of transportation for some people

  • ppl (29/11/2017, 16:22) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    You know in light of all this scooter talk that they are bad riders etc up to yet no one has spoken about the negligent drivers that don't use their mirrors an indicators while driving causing accidents with scooter riders so in the end they blame the riders an say I never saw u turning passing or coming ahead.only ignorance being broadcast about scooters
  • My Goodness (29/11/2017, 18:43) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    If every violator were arrested for all the crimes they commit (and riding in between lines of cars is a violation most places). maybe things would start to be civilized. I sat in a restaurant and watch over 20 bikes go by during our meal that Had no lights, Had no helmet, Had too loud an exhaust, were speeding and/or going between cars. Arrest and fine the B......Ds
  • justice (29/11/2017, 19:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here we go again with this guy making irational statement the innocent will have to pay fot the guilty
    We do have alot of law abiding professional riding bikes and scooters .only in the bvi the steriotype of been seen riding a bike you atomatically a bad person
  • BS (29/11/2017, 19:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is that the best option? Banning scooters? Smh.... how many crimes were committed with the perpetrators being on feet? Or In vehicles? If a crime is to happen it will, and the same goes for an accident! Enforce the laws, fine or imprison the wreckless, careless and lawless riders! Something! But if you're gonna ban the scooters then you're saying you gotta ban the vehicles and our feet too!
  • wize up (29/11/2017, 19:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is amazing how the bad/negative issues in this community is headline news and the good that is done goes unrecognized....I submit there still more good people in the BVI than bad: just as you have some folk acting the fool on bike we have some that operate within the laws: we have loads of persons driving drunk on the public roads(why not ban the cars)
  • wet (29/11/2017, 21:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The British Virgin Islands people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric to our businesses!
  • Empty Barrels (30/11/2017, 06:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Enforcement is the solution but it involves the community's support of the police. There are more residents than police, but when it comes to solutions, the residents leave it to the minority (politicians, police, immigration) to act.

    When these same organizations try to enforce lawful solutions, residents take the information and warn the lawbreakers. If the lawbreakers happen to receive any form of punishment, residents sympathize with them.

    Surely, we don't intend for police to chase lawless scooter/bike riders to enforce the law. We also don't intend for them to take pictures, get descriptions of bikes and riders and inform the residents of their violations as they seek help/cooperation in locating their whereabouts.

    Much to say about nothing. A society where we celebrate complaints and the opportunity to complain is what we have become, simply because solutions actually require us to act/do without bias.
  • fool (30/11/2017, 07:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This shows that this dude has no one else interest but his own. Not everyone can afford a car, and not all riders are idiots. There are some stupid drivers including Cline should we ban all cars? The Bvi needs to do more road safety education in the schools because the students have no idea how to use the roads.
  • yes (30/11/2017, 16:05) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree with him. They drive way too recklessly and without helmets. He's right this time. Give him his props when he's right people. C'mon now.
  • Pony (01/12/2017, 21:53) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ban them
  • bigger picture (03/12/2017, 11:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The standard of driving in the BVI reflects it's society, you keep treating everyone who not born here like a second class citizen then why are they going contribute to anything. Everyone just does what they want, selfish, fractured. You need community, completion, people need to feel they belong here and contribute in some way. So many people don't have citizenship, vote, status but still living here, why should they care about something that don't care about them?

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