74 F
Belize City
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Home Highlights Sunday drivers, beware Princess Margaret Drive

Sunday drivers, beware Princess Margaret Drive

“Time haad out ya.” There are a host of other things I would desperately prefer to do with my hard earned $50.00, than what I just did. The law is the law; and I am a law abiding citizen. At least I try to be.

They say, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” I broke the law on Sunday afternoon; and today I paid the painful price for it.

But I did not do it deliberately. I didn’t, as some would say, try to take a chance, and got caught. No, I was innocently doing what I thought was right.

Just about every driver in Belize City, I suspect, knows that from 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening until Monday, you cannot drive down Princess Margaret Drive from its junction with Baymen Avenue going south towards the MCC Grounds and its junction with Calle Al Mar.

I thought I knew the law. Do you?

There was very little traffic on Sunday afternoon when I travelled that route towards the MCC. There used to be a warning barrier halfway across the street to remind drivers of the weekend one-way traffic; not so anymore. Before I reached MCC, in front of the Princess fence, three traffic officers had a check-point going, so I dutifully pulled out my driver’s license. But the officer said there was another problem. I was guilty of a traffic violation – “driving contrary to traffic on a one-way street.”

“Are you serious,” I retorted. “But it is not even 4:30 p.m. yet.”

“You’re still in violation,” the officer insisted. “Check the sign. It says one-way traffic from 4:00 p.m. on Sundays.”

“What!?” I was dumbfounded and angry. “Since when?”

“That has been the rule for years,” the officer insisted.

As the officer proceeded to write up my ticket, I thought to myself, “How could this have been the law all these years, and I didn’t know.” I always thought it was from 6:00 p.m. that the one-way traffic came into effect.

There were a couple other drivers in the same predicament as myself, so it seems that there are still drivers out there who are unaware that on Sundays it is 4:00 p.m., not 6:00 p.m. as on Fridays and Saturdays, that the one-way traffic begins on this stretch of Princess Margaret Drive.

I wonder how much money the City Council has collected from drivers like myself, who were ignorant of this rule?

I am not happy. In fact, I am angry about this. $50.00 is a lot of bread “eena dehn haad time ya.” It felt like somebody had set a trap to catch me. And there is no winning the case.

After receiving the ticket, I drove back to the junction of Princess Margaret Drive and Baymen Avenue to inspect the sign which I had not even noticed when passing. Sure enough, it said “DO NOT ENTER. TEMPORARY – WEEKENDS – FRIDAY & SATURDAY – 6 PM – 6 AM; SUNDAY – 4 PM – 12 Midnight.”

I was still angry; perhaps with myself a little bit. How could I have overlooked that “4 PM” bit all these years? I wonder how many other drivers are aware of that, until they get caught like me; and why didn’t they set the “trap” in front of the Fisheries compound instead, and capture the many Tavern visitors that I saw in violation also?

Fellow drivers, beware; our Mayor’s traffic officers are under strict instructions – no warnings for first time offenders. It’s a $50.00 ticket now. And, “If the fine is not paid within fifteen (15) calendar days you will be charged an additional fine of $5.00 for every day the fine remains unpaid.”

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Immigration officers busted with weed

CARMELITA, Orange Walk District, Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020-- Three Immigration officers attached to the Belmopan Immigration office have been charged jointly with drug trafficking...

Former foreign ministers call on GOB to respond to kidnapping of Garinagu leaders

Last week five former foreign ministers of Belize — Eamon Courtenay, Assad Shoman, Lisa Shoman, Godfrey Smith, and Said Musa, who is also a...

House Meeting on August 3

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020-- The House of Representatives met once again on Monday, August 3, 2020 to debate a number of bills...

San Pedro under complete lockdown for 14 days

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020-- At a virtual press conference held this evening, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that because of an alarming...