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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022
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Pocket Bikes Are Too Dangerous

Dear Editor,
I wrote to The Source many months ago when the pocket bikes started appearing in my neighborhood. Despite repeated calls to the VIPD via 911 or through the local precinct, nothing was accomplished. According to your recent article, the territorial chief of police (Novelle Francis) apparently said that the VIPD is ticketing the operators of pocket bikes under the unregistered motor vehicle laws. Who are they ticketing? The juvenile riders or their parents?
Ever since these machines came onto the island, I've seen the young kids in this neighborhood go from regular bikes to these pocket bikes. Wearing no helmets, they zoom up and down the hilly, winding residential side roads disturbing the peace "ad nausea," and then they get out onto the main road, screaming up and down and dodging traffic. They know exactly when the VIPD changes shifts and how to avoid them!
In the past six months I've seen four drivers jam their brakes to avoid hitting one of these children and I've seen the look of horror on the vehicle drivers' faces. These children are not only out on these bikes after school and on weekends but they're also out after dark.
I wonder where their parents are.
When one of these children, riding one of these pocket bikes is eventually killed, I can almost guarantee that the driver of the vehicle will be charged with vehicular manslaughter, and it will become one big melee until the truth comes out.
I very strongly urge the Legislature to pass a comprehensive "NIX" on pocket bikes, period. Senator Liston Davis can make his case for an operating site for these vehicles at some time in the future, but the good Senator should do his research properly and look into the details of stateside jurisprudence on this issue.
Sincerely yours,
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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Dear Editor,
I wrote to The Source many months ago when the pocket bikes started appearing in my neighborhood. Despite repeated calls to the VIPD via 911 or through the local precinct, nothing was accomplished. According to your recent article, the territorial chief of police (Novelle Francis) apparently said that the VIPD is ticketing the operators of pocket bikes under the unregistered motor vehicle laws. Who are they ticketing? The juvenile riders or their parents?
Ever since these machines came onto the island, I've seen the young kids in this neighborhood go from regular bikes to these pocket bikes. Wearing no helmets, they zoom up and down the hilly, winding residential side roads disturbing the peace "ad nausea," and then they get out onto the main road, screaming up and down and dodging traffic. They know exactly when the VIPD changes shifts and how to avoid them!
In the past six months I've seen four drivers jam their brakes to avoid hitting one of these children and I've seen the look of horror on the vehicle drivers' faces. These children are not only out on these bikes after school and on weekends but they're also out after dark.
I wonder where their parents are.
When one of these children, riding one of these pocket bikes is eventually killed, I can almost guarantee that the driver of the vehicle will be charged with vehicular manslaughter, and it will become one big melee until the truth comes out.
I very strongly urge the Legislature to pass a comprehensive "NIX" on pocket bikes, period. Senator Liston Davis can make his case for an operating site for these vehicles at some time in the future, but the good Senator should do his research properly and look into the details of stateside jurisprudence on this issue.
Sincerely yours,
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.