Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Higher fines for golf carts or other vehicles brought to the island without permits


The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is cracking down on vehicular importation to the island without the required clearance or permits. This has led to dozens of golf carts being removed from the island after owners failed to produce the necessary permits. Failure to adhere to this regulation may result in a fine, which, as per a recent resolution passed, increased from $100 to $2,500 per violation, and the illegal vehicle will be removed from the island.
This regulation is executed by the Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee (ACTCC) under the SPTC, emphasizing that permits are mandatory before transporting a golf cart or larger vehicle to San Pedro. The increased fine will be enforced to deter anyone from breaking the regulation. These irregular vehicles are usually discovered when the traffic department conducts sting operations throughout the island, particularly in rental companies. In the past, some of these rental companies have been found without golf cart permits. The golf carts and/or vehicles without the proper documentation are immediately impounded. In speaking with a representative at the ACTCC, they stated that their surveillance now includes different strategies to tackle this issue. When barges arrive on the island from the mainland, ACTCC members will ensure that any vehicle brought there has the proper documentation. They also explained that if someone possesses an irregular vehicle, they are given a warning and a time frame to get the vehicle off the island. Otherwise, a fine is issued, the vehicle is impounded, and arrangements are made to remove it from the island. In the case of a large number of vehicles, like on April 26th, when 49 golf carts did not have the necessary permits to be on the island, an immediate removal is organized.
When the vehicles are returned to the mainland, the owner can apply for the proper permits to transport them back to San Pedro. The SPTC and the ACTCC appealed to residents to abide by the regulations. They emphasized that monitoring the number of vehicles on the island is necessary to prevent the saturation of vehicles on the streets. San Pedro is already experiencing unbearable traffic congestion, particularly during peak hours in the downtown area. With limited streets and space, the ACTCC sees it imperative to control the importation of vehicles to the island.
Another issue the unit is looking at is enforcing a moratorium whereby the SPTC is no longer issuing trade licenses for new golf cart rentals. Current golf cart rentals cannot increase their fleet and can only make replacements. In addition, the cap on golf carts in a rental company is being considered at 50 vehicles.
The ACTCC also looks at the issue of derelict vehicles. They shared that many of these vehicles have been removed from the island and are currently working on removing more. Usually, when the proprietor of one of these vehicles is found, they are given a timeframe to remove it from the island. When this is not done, a $100 fee is charged, and the ACTCC assists in getting the dilapidated vehicle off the San Pedro.
Those planning to acquire a vehicle/golf cart in San Pedro must apply for a permit at the SPTC transport offices on the ground floor. When a permit is issued, the vehicle can be purchased. If the golf cart or car is on the mainland, it can be brought to the island after the required permits are acquired.

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