Minister of Justice Anna Richardson.
PHILIPSBURG--The Towing Policy of the Ministry of Justice was published in the National Gazette on Friday, October 14. The finalisation of a towing policy has been a priority of the Ministry of Justice in order to regulate parking and avoid the obstruction of traffic, Justice Minister Anna Richardson said.
“The absence of a clear parking and towing policy plan in St. Maarten has been causing challenges for a number of years, including transport disarray, abandoned cars and a problematic towing practice,” Minister Richardson said. “A transparent and unambiguous towing policy is essential for public road safety.”
The towing policy was established in collaboration with the Ministries of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) and of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI. The legal framework for towing includes procedural steps, the registration system and the procedure for selling and demolishing towed vehicles.
The Ministry of VROMI is currently in the process of replacing traffic signs where they once stood. In the meantime, however, the general public is encouraged to park in a responsible manner. For example, there is no need for a driver to park on a sidewalk, disrupting the flow of traffic and hindering pedestrians.
To implement the towing policy in an adequate manner, the Ministry of Justice created an inventive Rotational Tow Programme which was also published in the National Gazette on October 14. The Rotational Tow Programme contains guidelines a towing operator shall comply with in order to receive a rotation tow listing with the Ministry of Justice of St. Maarten.
The programme is voluntary and is based on the needs of St. Maarten Police Force KPSM. Compliance with all the rules, regulations and requirements of the programme, as well as the towing policy, is mandatory for participating tow operators.
Minister Richardson stated: “I am elated that the new towing policy and the Rotational Tow Programme have finally been completed and published in the National Gazette. I would like to thank the Department of Judicial Affairs and the Ministries of TEATT and VROMI for their dedication and commitment to seeing this much-needed policy through.”
The Rotational Tow Programme determines the fees and the response time for towing companies. It also includes requirements regarding liability and insurance, an adequate storage facility, reporting, confidentiality, professionalism, technical requirements of towing vehicles and more.