Ranger ‘cops’ rampant on the road

A few National Park Rangers are working overtime, according to island residents. Sources report numerous incidents where Rangers have been what-some-might-say is "overly aggressive" in enforcing Park rules.

Rangers are issuing speeding tickets to drivers who exceed the 20 mph posted limit on the recently-paved North Shore Road. 

According to the St. John Source, it's not all tourists who are getting the citations. "No one is exempt. Not taxi drivers, not water delivery trucks, not tourists, and not someone zipping along the North Shore Road on their way to work," the Source said. (Full story here.)

The Inquiring Iguana has heard that tickets are also being issued to people who find no room at beach parking lots and so leave their car along the side of the road.  If the tire is on the pavement, a ticket will be left on the windshield.

Iguana even heard about one person who got a ticket when his car was in his own driveway located, coincidentally near Park land.

Drivers are the only ones in jeopardy from this new-found energy at law enforcement.  A long-time island visitor, who picked up three sea shells on the beach, was ordered by a Ranger to put them down.  He didn't – and got a ticket.

The Source said Rangers are using radar guns in their their fight on speeding, which they say has been a factor in half a dozen accidents in the past year.

17 thoughts on “Ranger ‘cops’ rampant on the road”

  1. We have been frequent visitors of St John for years, and for years there have been people driving on both North Shore road and Center Line road too fast. Tailgating is another problem. Hopefully the crackdown is on the people that do this regardless if they are tourist or locals.
    Parking is another story. There are many times we try going to the beaches and cannot find a parking spot within the national park. It almost seems that more space is reserved for taxis than for regular vehicles both at Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. In fact parking is becoming more and more of a problem each year…so, bottom line; crack down on ALL speeders and tail gators, and be as lenient as possible with parking….

  2. The park rangers are not only giving speeding and parking tickets. My husband and I got a ticket for having glass on the beach in October on Jumbie. No warning just a big lecture and a “CITATION” We had a trash bag full of trash we picked up from the beach that other people either left or washed up. He wasn’t impressed. We gladly offered to put our bottles away (given to us by the rental company BTW) but the very young ranger felt it was necessary to yell at us very loudly the entire time he wrote the citation. We have visited St John at least 14 times and had never once saw a park ranger give a citation. Vacationers “BEWARE” No Glass on the beach. It was a $75 fine. Not Nice! As the Ranger pointed out very very loudly READ THE SIGN!!!!!

  3. I’m Dawn’s “other half.” The odd part about our encounter on Jumbie was that not only did the ranger leave me with the citation, he also left me with glass for which he cited me. Good thing, I guess: it was still half full!

  4. The Park Rangers are a critical element of safety in our Parks, and by and large, are a real asset on St. John; but discourtesy undermines respect for law and necessary rules.
    When a Ranger is discourteous, do not respond with further discourtesy; simply take out out your pen and paper, note his/her name, the date, time, and place, and as soon as you get back to your hotel or villa, write a brief note describing the discourtesy and mail it as follows:
    The Hon. Secretray of the Interior
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    and copy your Congressman/woman, and your Senators:
    Hon. ____
    US House of Representatives or
    US Senate
    Washington, DC 20001.
    A few of these notes, especially regarding the same (few) Rangers will, not too long after, get some attention in DC and, ultimately, on St. John.
    Our Park Rangers are a very special group of law enforcement officers all over the Nation. They deserve our respect and our support, unless they lose it by discourtesy or unlawful conduct.
    Tom G
    If even a few such notes are received in the Secretary’s office,

  5. The V.I. is loaded with power trippers. Give them a gun and badge, they show you who got de powa. Some things are necessary, others, as commented previously, are simple petty power tripping or money grabbing.
    All that, I haven’t been in the Nat’l park this year other than by boat. As soon as the harassment on the water starts, we’ll go elsewhere. It’s a revenue generating thing.

  6. Oh stop complaining about getting a ticket or a lecture. You know or should know what the speed limit is and what the rules are on the beach. All clearly posted. Of you don’t like the laws or rules, we live in a country that allows you to write your government and ask that it be changed. Provide common sense facts and reasons as to why. Let’s stop being the Tea Party types and use some sense. The rangers are just doing the job they were hired to do, don’t make it harder on them.
    The parking is another situation that does need serious attention by the NPS.
    By the way, we are a yearly visitor to STJ and a property owner and avoid the problems by obeying the rules and regs.

  7. Yeah Paul you are right about that…but, there are ways and then there are ways, if you know what I mean. There is no excuse for bad attitudes and condescending remarks; and it seems to happen more times than necessary…we too are frequent visitors to St John, and have been for the last 23 years….

  8. I can’t believe STJ is now a police state like Germany 1940! I won’t stop if they pull me over. Do Rangers have police authority for speeding tickets???

  9. It’s a National Park. The parks are here for all of our enjoyment. We should all be able to experience them in our own personal ways. Unfortunately, not all people have repect or responsibility for parks and nature, hence they have rules and regulations for the less brighter of mankind.
    Who needs to speed on St John anyway? Yes, parking is a bitch…most places on STJ. are. And glass on the beach…probably a little much….but a broken bottle anywhere can reak havoc and makes a day at the beach a bummer. And, yes seahells are awesome, I have a huge collection. I never took a living creature in a shell and I don’t take them from National Parks. Your not supposed to take anything from National Parks– I thought. Anyway, everyone get used to the rules, they are minor compared to Stateside…and your living on/in a National Park. Some people will never see one.
    Peace and sunsets..

  10. There is a difference between professional, polite policing and thuggery. It happens every day in the Virgin Islands. I thoroughly agree that one must observe NP (or other) rules or expect consequences. After 15 years raising kids here, unfortunately, the key is often simple avoidance of law enforcement attention and adherence to rules and regs. Sad but true.

  11. I really don’t get it? I understand parking is difficult but we complain that law enforcement is no where to be found on island and then when a little is shown we say its to much. If we all followed the laws maybe st. john would be a better place. At least the National Park service is doing something unlike the police department. Also if you have been visiting St. John for years then you should know and understand that glass on the beach is an absolute NO. You can’t break the law but expect to get a break cause you did a good deed for the day. We should always pick up trash on the beach but that does exclude you from the laws. Come on people really! St. John needs to be cleaned up in a lot of ways let law enforcement do some of it. Would you rather have a Boston State Trooper patrolling the Parks. I think NOT!

  12. Please understand, I wasn’t complaining. Was guilty, paid the fine, and won’t take glass to the beach again!
    However, if the Ranger’s point was to keep glass off the beach, I would think either he or I would have removed it (including the trash we collected on the beach) during his visit. However, he left us on the beach with both the ticket and the glass.

  13. Wow, if this is all we have to complain about then we are lucky. Take a lookie at whats going on in the Middle East. Parking is hard on STJ, way too many taxis at Trunk and Cinnamon. All they do is stand around, and half of them are grouchy as hell. Next you will get ticketed for not parking correctly in between the 2 white lines. If your tire is on the line, “TICKET”! Wow, they could really make some $$$. From NJ, TICKET, Look ugly in a bathing suit, TICKET, annoying children, TICKET!!! Booger in your nose, TICKET. Just haveing fun with you all. Have a Happy Day.

  14. I had the unbelievable pleasure of working on your beautiful Island back in the early ’90’s. I built the transfer station at Public Works and the boat dock at Caneel. I moved away to work on other Islands and finally ended up back on “my” Island..Marthas Vineyard. I know there has to be upgrades and changes to island life and sometimes hard to swallow choices. Islanders don’t like change. It will all become “old” news someday. It makes for good conversation when the “remember whens” are brought up. If anyone sees the alumni from PWD tell them I said HI!

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