Whose fault is it?

Dear Editor,

  Not too long ago I wrote a letter to you regarding reckless driving, in which I pointed out the different infringements of the traffic ordinance.

  I have written on several occasions that I do not like the phrase “I told you so” because that phrase mostly comes after something negative has occurred. But, if I can recall, I also wrote a letter to you a while back, regarding motorbike riders transporting children on the seat, as well as standing in front of them between the driver and the steering mechanism.

  To my surprise not too long ago the judge decided that, when the police (on St. Maarten) publicly go into action, that is not a cause for the lack of police presence nor operations. I condemned that ruling then and will condemn it in the future also because there are other tactical ways for the police to show malcontent. That ruling by the judge tells me that we can function with a minimum. Then why am I reading that the Marechaussee are coming back? Do we need them or not? Or are we strategically strengthening our military presence?

  So, If there is not enough police presence to be able to deter that behaviour with motorbike riders, whose behaviour endangers the lives of their children-passengers, whose fault is it?

  For as long as I can remember the police have always been understaffed. For years, the behaviour of the people of the Netherlands Antilles guaranteed that it was not necessary for police reinforcement among the islands and history will show that police reinforcement was primarily used when there was a royal visit to the islands and once or twice after a severe hurricane. Not even during Carnival.

  But progress brings along people, immigration and migration and that means additional people with diverse behaviour, which calls for increased police surveillance and logically an increase in police numbers. Because of this, we all know about the involvement of the Dutch in policing Sint Maarten. So, since the judge has decided, should not we the citizens get an explanation – so that we can see the bigger picture?

  Dear Editor, this did not come from me but someone asked me a few days ago if, after reading my letter to you, if this ruling by the judge is to cover up for the blunder the Dutch made by pulling out their police assistance last year. Because, as I mentioned that it did not come from me, I did not respond because as I always state I have to be able to back up my statements. He called me a coward, but everybody is entitled to an opinion.

  We will always need police presence. Our road infrastructure does not permit for too many more cars. That is why I continually reiterate that we need a complete revision of the public transportation system, both with permits, parking and stopping. I have always wanted to know why can’t – or wouldn’t – we ask for help or advice from the Dutch even though it is world-wide known who the Dutch are, when it pertains to traffic and public transportation infrastructure.

  By the way, I am aware that Theo was the person to let me use the term “redecorate Philipsburg, especially Front Street”. But just like almost everything else, it was like “hot needle burning up thread.” I have personally checked it out several times, if we drive through Front Street from the beginning to the end, there is not one brick missing.

  I was a captain on the police boat, patrolling the waters around St. Maarten, Statia and Saba, and I can safely say that my boat navigated smoother then, than driving through Front Street today. MP Emmnauel was Minister of VROMI [Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure – Ed.] and should have known the ins and outs of the workings of VROMI. Can we ask him to address this situation, if that is not too close to home? I know that there is enough sand and I believe that asphalt is also available. And if we do not care about those drivers of the motorbikes, at least let us protect the children.

Russell A. Simmons

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