Dear Editor,

“Mister Russell they going come at you in the paper, because they say you write about everything, but you one-sided because you don’t write about the police.”

If I am permitted to explain why it seems so, I believe whoever is closely watching, will take more time and pay a little more attention to what is coming from all sides.

Ninety-five percent of the times that people try to condemn the police for something they did or did not do, it is not in accordance with the real story. These stories are mostly hearsay and from a third or fourth party. Because from experience I am aware of this, I hardly pursue whether their accusations are based on facts or not.

People know me to be this way because they always want me to write something for them and I refuse, it is not my opinion. I am not an elected official whose job it is to represent the people.

The opening sentence of this letter is what one of the two people who had approached me said to me. They had summed up some of the plain-for-the-people-to-see infractions against which no action is taken by the police. All color lights all over the vehicles; everybody driving around with hazard lights; anybody closing off the road when they want to do work in the area. Don’t talk about stopping anywhere to let people out of their car and these righthanded cars (cars with steering wheel on the right side) letting people out of the car in the middle of the road.

One of them gave me a sheet of paper and told me to “write about dah.” On that paper was written: You don’t know who is a taxi driver from who is a gypsy because some of them carry themselves more presentable than some taxi drivers. The police tell who they want about using the cell phone. The police does make who they want take off the tint off the car glass.

Ordinarily I would not have written about this but I also live on St. Maarten and what affects St. Maarten affects me also. So if I just sit by without doing anything about it, even though I know better, I will have to shut my mouth when things go wrong. And as we are seeing, things are not going too well with people’s behavior.

I have written about the lighting on cars in the past and there was also a reply in the papers concerning this. This seems to have been to no avail. I will state this. When I look at the road infrastructure of St. Maarten, and I apply the traffic rule governing overtaking another motor vehicle, literally, there is nowhere on St. Maarten where I am allowed to overtake another motor vehicle.

What happens here is that the driver at the back of you, especially drivers of heavy equipment, tailgate you as it were, trying to push you out of the way for them to pass.

Some people have tried to justify the infractions – black glass, etc. – by claiming that the vehicle was imported that way. My answer is: car-dealers should know that they should not deliver cars with infractions according to traffic ordinance. It is like importing a gun without a permit.

What leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, however, is that of late I have to be constantly hearing that the police do not do anything, especially about the traffic, because they themselves do not understand anything about the traffic ordinance.

My reaction to this is: If the people are seeing this and saying it, are those who are in charge ostriches? So many years now St. Maarten has been receiving help from our partner Holland. Is it really so that our sober and matter-of-fact big brother does not have a reasonable solution? Must I continue to be under the impression that “laat ze maar rotsooien” continues to be in play? When are our people in government going to nominate people who are loyal to St. Maarten and not like DJT loyal to them?


Russell A. Simmons