Friday’s report on the crushing of impounded motorbikes sparked quite a bit of comment. Several readers saw it as a waste of money, while others cautioned against allowing them back on the streets.
Mind you, they were confiscated due to non-compliance with technical requirements stipulated by law in the first place. Owners had been requested in the newspaper to retrieve theirs with the necessary documents on several occasions.
Police obviously can’t store derelict vehicles forever, so converting these to scrap seems reasonable enough. The fact that so few came to collect what is supposedly their property also indicates most may not have been able to prove ownership, insurance coverage and/or payment of tax.
That is undoubtedly the case with a considerable number of scooters and motorcycles currently on the road too. Their riders probably include many who can regularly be seen doing wheelies and otherwise acting irresponsibly in traffic.
Mid-December there was a conference on the French side about the behaviour of young people on two-wheelers. While participants put much emphasis on awareness and prevention, the importance of increased controls and repression was recognised as well.
In fact, Dutch St. Maarten might want to consider seizing motorbikes repeatedly driven in a dangerous manner for that reason alone. Fining the culprits or suspending their licence – if they even have one – is not likely to make a big impression. Taking away their “toy” with, for example, a three-strikes-you’re-out system could have more effect in practice.
If the latter seems harsh, realise that innocent lives are being risked every day these delinquents continue to perform their reckless stunts with no regard for their own safety or that of others.