Well I’ll Be Darned!

VI Park Sign June 10 2019

So yesterday, we told you all how the Virgin Islands government may soon require backseat seatbelts. We also joked about the irony of being able to have a beer in the backseat, but only if you had your seatbelt on. I know that got a chuckle out of many of you. 🙂 Well we received an email from the Chief Ranger of the Virgin Islands National Park yesterday, and he provided us with some information that we never knew.

“As always, I appreciate your posts and your regular contributions to raising awareness of issues here on St John,” Chief Ranger Rick Gupman wrote. “I wanted to write today because I saw your article as an opportunity to start a conversation about some common misunderstandings, and issues that we regularly encounter in the park.”

According to Ranger Rick, you actually are already required to wear your seatbelt in the National Park, which as you know is two-thirds of the island. It is also against the law to have an open container in any vehicle while driving through the Park. Who knew! Ranger Rick pointed out that existing federal laws supersede territorial laws. And existing federal laws specifically state that we need to wear seatbelts, and we cannot have open containers when we are in the Virgin Islands National Park.

He continued, “I realize that these references may come as a surprise, as I literally can not count the number of park users that I have contacted with open containers of alcoholic beverages in their vehicles –  and the response is pretty universally, ‘I have been doing this for my entire life and I have never heard of this before.'”

Wow. Well there’s more “news” you can use today, folks!

And yes, we are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Jerry. We will keep you all posted on that.

In the meantime, have a great day everyone! And buckle up!

4 thoughts on “Well I’ll Be Darned!”

  1. There are Federal laws in place that do not supercede VI law. One specifically is a Federal laws regarding use of SSN. Federal says SSN can not be used for drivers license. VI law supercedes, so the SSN is required. The Ranger may not be correct in what he states. Park presence is new and may not supercede VI law.

  2. Hey Jen
    So enjoy reading your posts, and have to chuckle about this latest one regarding seat belts and open container laws. My husband and I have been coming to Saint John since 2006, married there in 2008, and only missed the 2018 season after hurricanes. Villa we had rented for many years was totally wiped out and family medical issues here also prevented us from coming in 2018, but we were back in 2019 and have reservations to come back in 2020. It is beautiful and we so Love this Home away from Home. Do the Virgin Island Police know about the National Park Laws? We were stopped at the intersection in Cruz Bay back in 2012 I think it was, as my husband did a “Rolling Stop” at the intersection. Female Police Officer blew her whistle and stopped us and informed him that “all four tires must stop” (Chuckle, have you ever tried to stop only two or three of the tires on your Jeep?) My husband apologized and acknowledged that he would make sure all four tires stop in the future, but then asked her if it is okay to have an open beer while driving… and she replied Absolutely yes, that’s okay as long as all four tires stop at the Stop (S-T-O-P Sign as she spelled it out!) So we do make sure we have all four tires stopped now, and the driver doesn’t ever take an open beer on those windy curvey roads, but as a passenger and our two backseats passengers we are guilty sometimes of that. But interesting that the Police Officer didn’t inform us not legal in the National Park Boundaries. Looking forward to February 2020 to be back on the Island! Recently purchased Saint John Monopoly, need to start playing soon, a good game to get through Vermont winter until we come back to Saint John in February! Love this Island!

  3. The first time we were on St John, we were told a story of someone who got pulled over and got a fine for not having a seat belt on but had an open beer in their hand while receiving the fine! The police didn’t blink an eye at the open beer but was very strict about the seat belt. See you all in a month! We LOVE St John!

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