Special enforcement officers Alexandria Hassell and Thompson Thomas on Wednesday, August 10, were at the small parking lot in front of the Tourism Bureau in Windwardside to promote the parking policy. They handed out the blue parking disk and provided information about the new traffic ordinance to drivers.
In the coming period, Thomas and Hassell will be at the parking lot and other areas on the island on a regular basis to inform people of the new traffic ordinance, hand out the blue disks, and explain how it works. Drivers need to put the blue disk, with the time of arrival, visibly on the dashboard of their car.
A maximum of two-hour parking is in effect at the small parking lot during the daytime. This is to avoid overcrowding and people parking their cars there for an entire day while they are at work at a nearby establishment.
The idea is for the small parking lot to accommodate short-term parking for people who want to go to a store or other establishment in the area. If people want to park for more than two hours, they can do so at the big parking lot. The same policy is in place for instance in front of the RBC bank. 2-hour zones are made known by a parking sign that states how long one is allowed to park and during which hours of the day the parking restriction is enforced.
Time of arrival
“We explain to people how to use the blue disk. It needs to display the time of arrival so we can check when people have arrived and when their parking time has expired,” said Thomas. The enforcement officers also tell people about the rules of the new traffic ordinance and explain to them that they are not allowed to park in the center of the small parking lot.
For now, the promotion of the parking policy is mainly informative and educational, but in the future, people can expect a warning letter or a fine when in violation of the rules. “Bit by bit we start enforcing so people can get accustomed,” said Hassell. “We are asking the community to work with us. This is all in the interest of safety,” she said.
The blue disk might be introduced for more parking areas on the island. People are reminded that they are also not allowed in are with a parking prohibition sign. In St. John’s, for instance, they need to park in the parking lot, and not along the road. In Windwardside there is a stopping prohibition in place from Chez Bubba up until Brigadoon, except for continuous loading and offloading of passengers and goods if this cannot be done elsewhere.
New traffic ordinance
The new traffic ordinance outlines different rules for parking. Cars are also not allowed to park when there is a yellow line or when they block someone in. This means that parking in the middle of the small parking lot is also not allowed, even for less than two hours. In short, the enforcement officers are also able to remove obstructions on the road, such as car wrecks, and will also start checking trucks that are transporting goods without a cover. This is all to promote the proper flow of traffic on Saba.
The Island Council on May 5 approved the new Island Ordinance containing rules for traffic and road safety on Saba. The new ordinance went into effect one month after that. It regulates alcohol in traffic, speed limits, seatbelts, and child seats, helmets, car window tint, unnecessary noise, and mobile phones. The new ordinance will be implemented gradually to give people the opportunity to get used to the new regulations. Focus in the first year will be on awareness and educating the public. Full implementation of the ordinance takes place a year after adoption.