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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, January 29, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesA New Scourge in the 'Hood

A New Scourge in the 'Hood

Dear Source,
A day off and getting verbal (verbose?) again! This has no relevance to anything you've printed of late and if you can't print it that's fine but I think it's certainly something which needs to be looked into. I've sent it to the Avis and the Daily News and am also sending copies to Police Commissioner Elton Lewis, and Sens. Berry, Malone and Donastorg (as they appear to be the senators most concerned about local issues!)

I gather these things were first introduced in rural states and were designed for kids who had private ranchland to drive around in. From my understanding they're steadily becoming a scourge in many mainland areas and big clamp-downs have become necessary to protect the children. So first we have a V.I. law enacted which says that children riding simple bicycles should wear helmets (never enforced) and now we have these kids on these minibikes who are simply scofflaws. Go figure. Best from The Old Antsy Tart! …
It's a peaceful afternoon in the 'hood. The birds are singing, the palm trees are gently swaying and rustling in the light breeze and the traffic sounds are just a background hum interspersed with the occasional discordance of a loud truck which quickly passes by.
The relative peace is suddenly shattered by something which sounds like a demented weedwhacker. You can hear the whining, screeching noise long before the cause of it reaches you and you grit your teeth waiting for the appearance of the new neighborhood scourge – little children on miniature motor scooters which seem to be the new playtoy of choice and whose numbers are fast increasing throughout the island.
Sometimes riding two-up on a bicycle built for one, they come screaming out of the side road onto the main road, riding against the traffic with no protective headgear and head up to the next side road where they scream around for half an hour before retracing their path to start the cycle all over again. It goes on for hours at a time and often after dark. Little kids riding little motorscooters which are not licensed for road use. Little kids riding little motorscooters with no protective headgear. Little kids riding little motorscooters against the flow of traffic and zooming around blind curves. Little kids riding little motorscooters after dark with no lights.
This is not only a public nuisance but an accident waiting to happen. When some little kid gets hit by a properly registered and authorized driver of a properly registered motor vehicle, who'll be initially blamed and castigated by the bereaved family? The driver of the vehicle who hit the child, of course. Do we sit around and wait for this to happen?
Even before I started calling the Police Department to complain, I saw police officers on two occasions stop and talk to the children. The children dutifully went back up the side road towards home. A few minutes later, when the police patrol had left the area, they were back out again to continue their fun, looking around before going onto the main road to make sure no patrol vehicles were in sight.
One night well after dark I caught two of them riding tandem through my property after coming off the main road, stopped them and gently explained to them that what they were doing was extremely dangerous and that they needed to get home. They listened, then drove around me. Just as they got to the side road headed towards home, the little boy on the back turned around and called me something which cannot be printed but which is a favorite expression used to unflatteringly describe a female dog of white descent who does unmentionable things to her mother. Ah! From the mouths of babes come such words directed towards someone old enough to be their grannie!
I beg the powers that be to please make a concerted effort to do whatever possible to safeguard these children. Parents? It's hard to comprehend that you don't know what your children are doing.
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

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