On Thursday, March 12, 2015, a dump truck ran into a golf cart in front of Reef Village throwing a 60-year-old tourist through the windshield and off the cart onto the pavement, just to have his own cart run over him as he lay on the ground.
Residents of Reef Village rendered assistance to the man who was the passenger on the cart. He sustained injuries to this head and face, but was pretty banged up all over his body, according to witnesses. The Police and Traffic Wardens were called to the scene after which the man was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.
According to witnesses, the tourist diver of the six-seater golf cart got confused and mistakenly backed up into the street and that was when the driver of the dump truck ran into the cart. The truck driver was apparently speeding and unable to avoid the collision due to the velocity he was traveling.
Golf Cart with broken windshield parked in front of Reef Village where accident took place
“There is NO need to drive beyond a controllable speed. We will all arrive at our destination on Belize Time. Speeding offers zero benefits to our community.” These are the words of a resident of North Ambergris Caye who shares the sentiments of other residents across the Boca del Rio Bridge. Speeding has become a problem throughout the 3.5-mile stretch of newly paved road that, at the moment does not have any traffic signs, speed bumps or proper lighting.
The accident that occurred in front of Reef Village this week is just one of many that have occurred since the paving of the road and residents are reporting many more of them, this one probably being one of the worst to date. Luckily the injuries of the two tourists were not serious. But residents in the area are very concerned and wonder when the San Pedro Town Council will address the issue and install the necessary roadside equipment.
“Either way, the trucks and taxis are out of control,” commented a witness to this Wednesday’s traffic accident to Ambergris Today. “If we desire tourist dollars, we will need better driver training, more speed bumps, and vehicle inspections. We're no longer a sleepy fishing village. The guy could have been killed; this is very upsetting.”
During a meeting with the heads of neighborhood watches a couple months ago, Mayor Daniel Guerrero did mention that speed bumps will be installed along the stretch of road and that traffic wardens will be stationed across the bridge to monitor traffic and control speeding. To date, no action has been taken. The San Pedro Police also mentioned the proper lighting and reflectors along the road is needed.
A resident of the Reef Village area stated that the traffic wardens are trying to show a presence on the road, but everyone knows when they are in the area and slow down their driving speed. “The wardens/police/medical officers are not properly equipped to handle emergencies here. Everyone said call a taxi or told the tourist to drive to the clinic...really! No emergency way to get him there!” commented the resident.
“The issue is awareness: slow down...from locals to tourist who all think its joy ride time or race time,” commented one northern resident. “As this island grows, this issue will get worse and there are no measures in place for major traffic accidents; this town is no longer a small island with a few carts. We are mixing golf carts, heavy equipment, pedestrians and bikes...all think they have the right to the road; it is time for some serious traffic school and relooks.”
(Pictured above) A golf cart crashed into the fence of Solitude condominiums just around the bend from the Boca del Rio Bridge during the Christmas holidays 2014. Residents just heard a huge bang in the middle of the night and woke up to notice this section of the broken fence. Based on the skid marks left on the pavement, the golf cart was headed south into town.