Bonaire has undergone many changes in the past years. In 1957 Bonaire had 5,663 residents. Nowadays the island has a population of 20,488 residents. The number of vehicles on Bonaire has also increased significantly. From approximately 250 cars and 3 motorcycles in 1957, there are now 15,696 cars on Bonaire. In total, there are 1,816 scooters, motorcycles and quads.
In 1957 the first Traffic Act, the ‘Wegenverkeersverordening’(road traffic regulation) came into force. Our population and participants in traffic have increased significantly since then. Therefore, it is high time to adapt the traffic rules. This is why the old Traffic Act of 1957 has been replaced by a new law. These new rules are necessary to ensure everyone’s safety in traffic. The new rules will enter into effect on August 1, 2019.
There is always some getting used to, when important rules change. For this reason, the police, the public prosecutor and myself have decided to have a transition period for the rules mentioned below. The transition period applies to the following rules:
*You may not hold a mobile telephone in your hand while driving
*All passengers in the car must wear a seat belt
*Children 3 years of age or younger must be seated in a child’s car seat while in the car
*Drivers of scooters, motorcycles and ATV quads must wear a safety helm
From August 1st up to October 1st, the police will call your attention if you are not complying to these rules. You will not be fined yet. Starting October 1st you will receive a traffic ticket if you are in violation of the rules.
*In the former and new Traffic Act, driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable. The difference with the new law is, that the police can more easily check if a person has consumed alcohol. If you have consumed alcohol, it is best not to drive. If you still drive after drinking, you will receive a fine if the police stop you and find that you have consumed too much.
I trust that you will adhere to the new rules. These are ultimately for the safety of us all. The safety of our children, our family, friends, acquaintances and the tourists on Bonaire. This is what we do it for.
Governor of Bonaire