Those who use the North Shore Road – Route 20 on the maps – instead of Centerline Road to travel between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay need to slow down.
While the speed limit was always 20 mph, V.I. National Park rangers recently began issuing warnings to drivers who ignored the speed limit. They’re now handing out tickets – called citations in parkese.
It’s now 20 on 20, if you will. 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.
“More than anything else, it’s a safety issue,” Chief Ranger Lloyd Morris said.
The North Shore Road twists and turns, creating dangerous curves.
“Some take the curve a little wide, especially the taxis,” Morris said.
Should you go over the edge on the road, drivers can end up “30, 40 even 100 feet down,” Morris said.
Since Morris started working for the St. John park in June 2010, the North Shore Road had six accidents. He said that just about every one involved drivers speeding. In a few cases, the drivers had been drinking.
There’s also the matter of what Morris termed "serenity" as drivers pass through some of the park’s loveliest scenery.
“We want you to slow down and enjoy things,” he said.
According to Morris, park rangers are clocking speeders with radar guns. Those that go over 20 mph face fines upwards of $50 depending on how fast they were going. And those going really fast could wind up making an appearance in U.S. District Court.