San Pedro Traffic Department has begun strict enforcement of its ban against the importation of new motor vehicles to the island.
Joel Chi, the driver for the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr. and a resident of San Pedro Town, had his Jeep Liberty SUV taken from him and sent back to Belize City.
Alberto Bradley, also a resident of San Pedro Town, has had his vehicle impounded in his yard for around three months.
He will not be allowed to drive the vehicle in San Pedro, and if he does he will face serious traffic fines.
The two owners had applied to the San Pedro Traffic Control Committee in May for permission to import the vehicles, but the requests were denied.
Severo Guerrero, Direc-tor of the San Pedro Traffic Department and also a Town Councillor, said Chi’s request was denied because the SUV was too big and inappropriate for the island’s traffic.
San Pedro’s narrow streets and limited space for parking make it necessary to restrict the number of motor vehicles on the island, Guererro said.
The Traffic Control Committee, which is comprised of seven members, decided against granting the permissions sought. Chi brought his vehicle to San Pedro after being told his application had been denied.
The San Pedro Police later impounded the vehicle on May 13. Two days later it was shipped back to Belize City.
Guerrero told the Reporter that the Town Board is not opposed to bringing vehicles to the island, but permission must first be obtained from the Town Board and the Traffic Committee, which considers each case on its merits.
The Committee’s overiding concern is to reduce traffic congestion on the island.
The San Pedro Town Board is also having a dispute with Chi over a house now being built in San Pedro.
Reports say that the building is much bigger than the plan approved for it by the San Pedro Local Building Authority.
Chi is using 95% of the land for the building in defiance of the Local Building Authority, which approved a plan for 60 percent of the land.
San Pedro’s Local Building Authority is expecting to receive the support of the newly formed National Building Authority in enforcing the law. (See last week’s report on the NBA).