Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom
Until the recent road repairs/construction I had not really noticed the volume of vehicles on the island. The lines queuing to go by the road blocks were extreme and as I sat in them, sometimes for over 40 minutes, I contemplated the diversity of vehicles and the sheer number of them.

Roatan’s road traffic is worse than on the mainland and I have no idea where we are going to put all these vehicles in a couple of years. Maybe we just ship back the ones that are no longer road worthy. These rust buckets are not only dangerous but a time waster as just one car accident or breakdown can and does paralyze the entire section of the island where it occurs. In my humble opinion no vehicle that can’t do 45 mph should be allowed on the main highway.

I understand that people do need to get around, but not by endangering other citizens and themselves. The main road is not currently designed to accommodate slow moving scooters. Maybe a bike lane would be a good plan for future road work. Or perhaps we could follow Bermuda’s lead and institute restrictions on the size and number of vehicles allowed per household.

Currently we have quite a collection of vehicles travelling our roads: 18 wheelers, dump trucks, heavy equipment with no restrictions whatsoever. Essentially, if you can afford to ship it over here, you can drive it anywhere. The population is exploding out of control and, as a result, so are the number of vehicles. We need decent public transport and minimal regulations that ensure that vehicles are road worthy so that we no longer must-read news reports where buses slide down hills due to maintenance failures.

It’s unfortunate that my tax goes to San Pedro and not Roatan.

Nobody keeps track how many cars and motorcycles arrive daily on the freight boats from the mainland and how many more are imported directly from the US. I am also curious as to the how many pay the municipal tax locally. Let me pause here. Every year we pay registration on our vehicles. This payment includes an automatically collected municipal but, by way of example, my car that was purchased at a dealership in San Pedro Sula, so the tax goes to SPS municipality.

Now, my car is polluting the air in Roatan, using the roads here, oil changes and old tires stay here. It’s unfortunate that my tax goes to San Pedro and not Roatan municipality. When I questioned this, the previous mayor stated he would investigate it and the then DEI now SAR offices stated that Roatan municipality would have to petition the tax offices to collect the tax locally.

Years ago, I remember having to get a sticker from the local DMV offices to certify my vehicle was road worthy and my local taxes were paid. That program is long gone.

In order to get a driver’s license in Honduras there are plenty of hurdles to jump. You must present your identification card if Honduran and residency card if a foreigner. You have to pass a medical exam and eye test, present a blood type card, you must attend drivers education class at the training facility from 8:00am to 3:00 pm, pass the written and practical test, take a psychological test and finally, reserve an appointment with banco Atlántida where you will pay for the license depending on the type and duration.

After all that you can drive out with a brand-new driver’s license and no freaking clue how to drive. Stay safe out there and only drive defensively my friends.

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