Richardson: Zero tolerance for antics of reckless bikers

Richardson: Zero tolerance  for antics of reckless bikers

PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Justice Anna Richardson has renewed her call on the Prosecutor’s Office to take serious and swift action against all reckless behaviour of bikers in St. Maarten. A communication was sent to Attorney-General of St. Maarten and Curaçao Ton Maan calling for his attention to prioritising this matter.

  The reason for Richardson’s request is the senseless act of violence committed by bikers on a family on Friday, October 15, when a four-month-old baby suffered serious injuries to her head and eyes after a group of bikers threw a rock through the rear window of the vehicle she was in.

  Richardson contacted the baby’s parents on Monday, October 18, to offer her apology for the unfortunate experience and said her thoughts were with the family during this time. “I’m grateful the baby is recovering well and that she is said to be in good spirit,” said Richardson.

  In April 2020, soon after taking office, Richardson indicated that a crackdown would take place to combat bikers’ illegal activities. This announcement was in response to a stream of complaints from residents about the unabated nuisance experienced from bike riders while driving in traffic and residing in their neighbourhoods.

  Despite efforts by the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM to address this matter, resulting in several successful confiscations of motorbikes and scooters, the problem remained. “It is unfortunate to note that further activity to maintain consistency in this area is lacking,” Richardson said.

  The illegal behaviour of riders of motorbikes and scooters continues to be a safety hazard for persons living in St. Maarten and for this reason Richardson is taking immediate steps to put a zero-tolerance policy in place. “All illegal activities by riders of motorbikes, scooters, dirt bikes, etc. along with the unauthorised street races organised for these bikes, must stop.”

  In addition, KPSM has been requested to seek the cooperation of the authorities on the French side of the island to discuss a joint approach to get illegal bikes off the roads.

  Richardson would like to reiterate that all persons making use of the public roads in St. Maarten must adhere to the rules and regulations according to the national traffic ordinance.

  “Far too many persons in the community have had the unfortunate experience of these riders who demonstrate an outlaw attitude toward motorists,” Richardson said. “Despite being in violation of countless traffic laws, the reckless riders are quick to violently react to drivers despite being in the wrong. They constantly ride on the wrong side of the road. There is video footage circulating on social media of wheeling through and moving through traffic as these riders … exhibit an attitude of being untouchable.”

  The community of St. Maarten has been calling for action to be taken to deal with this matter and Richardson has escalated the call to the Attorney-General to see to it that KPSM receives the needed support to execute a joint action plan to address these lawbreakers.