As I travel across New Providence, especially West Bay Street, I notice the abundance of ATV (all-terrain vehicles) on our streets being used as day tour adventures for our tourists.
As with everything on a small island, the “me too” syndrome is in full effect now, since we now have multiple operators in this market.
However, I see one dangerous habit with most of these operators, and that is the lack of awareness of how dangerous these vehicles are, and the absence of any safety precautions.
Normally, too many of these tourists ride these vehicles without a safety helmet.
However, I have seen a few operators with the riders wearing helmets.
Another danger of these ATVs is that they lack a roll bar above the passengers, which will provide protection from serious injuries, and even save the lives of these occupants in case of an accident, where the ATV overturns. Or they can be thrown from the vehicle, and without a helmet, they are at greater risk of serious injury.
An ATV’s speed limit can be controlled by speed limit applications for safety, and speed can be limited to maybe 15 miles per hour.
Generally, the top speed of these vehicles can be 50 to 90 miles per hour. Are the operators enforcing speed limits for their renters as a safety precaution?
Unfortunately, our traffic cops and the wider police force see nothing wrong with this picture and have allowed them to traverse freely without enforcement or penalty.
A tourist was killed at Arawak Cay while riding on one of these ATVs. As we normally do, I expect a heightened sense of concern for a few weeks on these ATVs, and then we relax back to old familiar habits.
We really need a proactive approach to the enforcement of our traffic laws, which means police officers on patrol every day doing their job to keep our citizens, tourists and anyone who traverses these streets of New Providence and our islands safe.
– B.A. Sweeting