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Jul 28, 2003

City prepares to take on bikes

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First it was radar guns, then breathalysers…now, once again, it’s bicycles. Will this latest crackdown be any different than the nine-day-wonders of the past? Today I visited the Belize City Traffic Department to find out.

Kent Gabb, Manager, Traffic Department

“We said we need to go back to registration of bicycles where we can identify these bicycles and it will aid us in the recovery of them if stolen and the event to lead us to people who are committing crimes.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

It’s a plan we have heard many times before…with no tangible action. So what makes this latest announcement worthy of mention? According to Manager of Traffic Department, Kent Gabb, two-wheeled crime is getting out of hand.

Kent Gabb

“I am sure you know that there is a lot of crime taking place where a person ride up on a bicycle, snatch your chain off your neck and there is no way you can identify these bicycles. It is for these types of reasons, for that, plus someone steals your bicycle there is no way you can identify them. They can easily take these bicycles and sell them to anyone and we can’t track them down.”

The government in Belmopan appears equally committed to the concept of bicycle registration and licensing. At the July twenty-second Cabinet meeting the issue was discussed and it was agreed to extend the registration so bicycle owners will not have pay any fee for three months. At the end of the amnesty period, the registration will be enforced. The act will not be put into effect until recommendations by City Council have been finalized and approved by Cabinet. Gabb says once given the green light, they will first target bicycle shops.

Kent Gabb

“They will start with giving us some sort of receipt with an identification number of that bike. The person will then bring that bike into the department. We will either emboss a special set of numbers on the bike or we issue a plate for it.”

The bicycling public will be informed as to when the exercise will commence. In the meantime, bike owners are reminded that they should comply with traffic rules and regulations.

Fees for bicycle licensing have not yet been finalised.

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