JUST TO ADD TO THE INFO ON TAXI'S - I'M JUST SORRY IT TOOK A SAD THING LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN FOR THEM TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT HOW MANY/WHAT KIND OF VEHICLES ARE ON THE CAYES.
San Pedro and Caye Caulker to resist traffic congestion
(Friday 01 August 2003 10:40:38 am)
Recent traffic accidents, including last Saturday’s fatality in which 44 year old taxi driver Justino Chan reversed into 2 year old Alexia Santos, are causing the San Pedro Traffic Committee to begin the process of re-registering all vehicles.
Mr. Milo Paz, Chairman of the San Pedro Traffic Control Committee, told Reporter that the Committee has issued a moratorium on the importation of new vehicles on the island.
“No automobiles can be imported until a survey of all vehicles operating on Aan Pedro is complete,” Paz declared.
He added that on Sunday (July27th) the committee began by registering all taxis.
Forty-four out of a total of 55 minivans turned up to be registered and checked for insurance and licences by the Department of Transport.
According to Paz, the registering process will continue over the next few weeks, during which time golf carts, trucks, motor-cycles and all other types of motor-driven vehicles will be identified and registered. The puurpose, he said, is to develop reliable statistics to help decision-makers to decide on an importation policy.
The San Pedro Traffic Committee, which is made up of seven members, including San Pedro’s Mayor Elsa Paz, and the Commissioner of Transport, Phillip Brac-kett, are responsible for reviewing applications for the importation of vehicles to the island.
Mr. Paz told Reporter that the island is not prohibiting further importation, but rather is making it stricter, ensuring that vehicles adhere to higher standards.
This includes information on the number of same type vehicles as that desired by the applicant, potential adverse effects on the environment, suitability for the road, need for a motor vehicle and the availability of street parking.
The traffic department is currently putting in permanent speed bumps around the island, and creating regular check-points.
Mr. Paz said he anticipates that heavy vehicle traffic will be greatly reduced in September, after Government completes constructing a permanent marina on the leeward side the island, which will reduce the need for large trucks (used for unl-oading) to be on the main streets.
Caye Caulker, still years away from the traffic headaches that plagueSan Pedro , has decided to address its own smaller traffic issues in anticipation.
Mr. Alberto Villanueva, Chairman of the Traffic Committee, told Reporter: “We are trying to put in even more stringent traffic laws in Caye Caulker.”
He explained that there are eight motor vehicles on the island. Four of these are used by the Police, Fire Department and Town Council.The other 4 are privately owned.
The Traffic Committee has turned down many recent applications, including one from Fabro Construction, which wanted to bring in a pick-up truck.
Mr.Villanueva told Reporter that people are being advised to buy “Gators or Mules”, which are smaller all terrain vehicles, capable of “hauling large loads.”
“We are just trying to prevent our island from becoming like San Pedro”, Villanueva said, adding: “For now the main traffic concern is that of pedes-trians not vehicles.”