Monday 24 February, 2020

Transport Minister: Motorcyclists without helmets will be arrested

Transport Minister Honourable Guy Joseph has put motorcyclists on notice.

Addressing journalists Monday morning, Joseph disclosed that soon riders will no longer be issued traffic tickets for failing to ride with helmets, but will be arrested by the police.

“We dealt with a Cabinet Conclusion as of last week, making riding on the roads without a helmet an arrestable offence,” Joseph said.

“When an officer stops a motorcyclist he doesn't have a helmet, the most he can do is give him a ticket, charge him. When he charges him what does that person do? Jump on their bike and go about their way; still without a helmet.

In 2019, law enforcement officials underwent a crackdown on motorcyclists who break the law, following several fatalities including both riders and pillion.

Former President of the Saint Lucia Moto X Club, Terroll Compton, believes the initiative will indeed serve its purpose in encouraging riders to wear helmets.

Terroll Compton

“If we make it an arrestable offence does that mean now the police will be more encouraged to arrest somebody? I know the aim is to get more people to wear a helmet and that I agree must take place, however when you change the offence to an arrestable offence, you change the category of the offence.

"Does it, therefore, mean by any means necessary that a rider without a helmet should be stopped and arrested? I understand where the minister is coming from, I think what we have to enforce is through the office of the commissioner that the traffic department and the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force on whole stop persons without helmets and charge them and even go further by looking at a demerit system,” Compton said.

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