The lifting of the ban on scooters after certain hours and the curfew has residents complaining that scooter noise is keeping them up at night. The residents who complain that they were at peace during the ban are calling for some respite in this regard. In responding to the outcry Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Carvin Malone called for adherence from bikers.
In his Territorial address on 17 August Hon. Malone explained that he has heard the complaints of the public: “Concerns are also expressed of the extreme loud noise and irresponsible usage of motor mikes throughout the territory. This too must stop; license your bikes; wear your helmets; stop the loud noise; observe traffic laws; safe riding saves lives.”
On 4 June a temporary night-time ban on motorcycles went into effect and was extended by three weeks; officially ending on July 16. Many in the public at the time cheered the ban, which was enacted on all scooters, motorbikes, and 3-wheel vehicles in the Territory. The restriction required that all of these vehicles stay off the road between the hours of 5:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Last week the government announced that the 5:00 am to 12-midnight curfew that was imposed on the Territory following the phase one opening of the Territory. However, as riders enjoy their freedom to traverse the Territory’s roads at all hours residents are complaining.
In fact, many residents are pleading now for a permanent ban on scooters in the Territory. Hoteliers point out that visitors will never come back to the BVI with these levels of noise pollution. Motorcycles are not manufactured to be loud. When motorcycles come from the factory, they are reasonably quiet, because they are factory- equipped with low noise mufflers. However, it would seem that a sizable number of motorbike owners make alterations to transform their mufflers into exceedingly noisy ones. Motorbikes with modified mufflers could easily increase noise emissions to over 100 dBa which is extremely unhealthy.