ORANJESTAD, St Eustatius - Motorists will no longer be allowed to drive without seatbelts or hold onto their mobile phones while driving, and cyclists will no longer be allowed to ride without helmets, as enforcement of the Road Traffic Ordinance adopted by the Island Council on 27 September 2022 is set to begin soon.  

Beginning 1 May, officer of the Dutch Caribbean Police Force in Statia will begin conducting checks to ensure motorists comply with the legislation, which regulates road safety and traffic on the island.

“For the safety of motorists and other road users, the 2022 Road Traffic Ordinance addresses a number of important areas, such as the use of seatbelts, helmets and child seats, driving under the influence of alcohol, the grade of tints and the use of mobile phones while driving. It’s imperative that motorists obey these rules for their safety and that of other road users,” said Robelto Hodge, the chief of basic police care in Statia.

The governor’s cabinet, headed by Rient Hassel, has been working closely with local police to facilitate enforcement of the ordinance.

Article 23 of the Road Traffic Ordinance states that the driver of a motor vehicle, bicycle, moped or disabled vehicle equipped with an engine is prohibited from holding a mobile communication device while driving

Article 25 states that it shall be prohibited for any person to drive or cause to be driven a vehicle while under the influence of a substance which he or she knows or could reasonably be expected to know that its use, alone or in combination with another substance, may impair his or her ability to drive to such an extent that driving ability to such an extent that he/she should not be considered capable of driving properly.

Article 74 states that unless otherwise provided for in the ordinance, drivers of motor vehicles and passengers shall use the seatbelt available to them and that passengers aged three or younger shall use a child restraint system suitable for them that meets internationally accepted safety standards and bears an approval mark.

Article 75 states that the driver and passengers are prohibited from being on a moped, a motorbike or another motor vehicle without bodywork without wearing a properly fitting helmet, which is properly fastened to the head by means of a fastener; meets internationally acceptable safety standards and bears an approval mark, and is in good condition.

Article 82: c governs the use of tints on windscreens and windows.

Failure to comply with the ordinance will result in penalties ranging from monetary fines to the confiscation of vehicles.

To view the 2022 Road Traffic Ordinance (in Dutch only) please click on the following link: