Security Message for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize
May 18, 2012
The U.S. Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens in Belize to drive cautiously
and at a safe speed when traveling on the Western highway and other
highways in Belize. On May 16, 2012, a fatal motor vehicle accident
occurred on mile marker 44 of the Western Highway, killing four people
and leaving a fifth in critical condition. Initial police
investigations list the slippery road conditions as one of several
contributing factors in the crash. A similar accident occurred on May,
15, 2012, without fatalities.
Historically, there have been numerous fatalities on the Western
Highway, usually linked to a host of factors including excessive speed,
weather conditions, lane spacing and poor construction. The various
areas of wear and asphalt paving along the Western Highway contribute to
changes in traction and vehicular maneuverability.
The most hazardous portions of the Western Highway, near the Belmopan
city limits, are along mile marker 44 and extend for approximately four
miles. Travelling west from Belize City, this section is easily
distinguished by a large "Drive Safely" sign on the eastbound side of
the roadway and a color change in the pavement. Travelling east from
Belmopan, this same stretch of road is identifiable by the driveway
entrance and sign for the Hotel Rio Coco.
All U.S. citizens should drive defensively at all times, maintain
adequate distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them
and pay particular attention to oncoming traffic attempting to pass
slower vehicles. The U.S. Embassy strongly advises U.S. citizens to
avoid driving on Belize's highways at night whenever possible and to
take extreme caution during times of limited visibility.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling
abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular
Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov
, where the current
Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health
information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security
can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and
Canada or, for inquirers in other areas, by calling a regular toll line
at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00am to 8:00pm
Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Belize are encouraged to enroll
with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's Smart Traveler
Enrollment Program (STEP) website at:https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/
By enrolling, U.S.
citizens can obtain updated information on travel and security within
Belize, and make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of
emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll in person
directly with the U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. Embassy is located at #4 Floral Park Road, Belmopan City,
Belize; Tel: 501-822-4011 8:00am to 5:00pm-or for emergencies after
hours, weekends, and holidays at 501-610-5030, Fax: 501-822-4050;
E-mail: ACSBelize@state.gov; Website: https://Belize.usembassy.state.gov
Floral Park Road, Belmopan, Cayo
Telephone (501) 822-4011, Fax (501) 822-4050