Why I do not recommend "safaris"
Iris: I have been here long enough. The deal with safaris is a pet peeve along with, as other vinow members are surely aware, feral chickens. I am concerned that visitors hear about this "$1 bus" system and think it is legal and safe. Re: drinking and driving, I know people who have been pulled over and told they could not drink and drive. Laws are frequently at the discretion of a person who may not actually know the law.
It is ABOSOUTELY legal to drink and drive. It is NOT legal to drive drunk. There is a difference.
ETA: Police do not have the "discretion" to enforce the law anywhere in the U.S. That is the job of the prosecutor. But, again, remember where you are. This is the VIPD we're talking about. I'm with you on the feral chickens though. I lived in Christiansted town for several years and found the best weapon was a handful of ice cubes lobbed accurately.
I wish there were more safaris on St Croix.
I ride around in them every time I've been to St Thomas or St John and love it. The blacked out windows of the STX taxi vans creep me out (not to mention the A/C and perfume/cologne abuse). I'd much rather ride in the open air safaris than get stuffed into a dark cold van.
The safaris should definitely be subjected to the same safety inspections as other cars on the roads, but no seat belts? Then you know you've got to pay attention and hold on. One of the things I liked most about St Croix when deciding to move was that there still seems to be some sense of personal responsibility here.
(not to mention the A/C and perfume/cologne abuse
True, that! Why? Why? Why? I'm okay with a little air freshener, but why does it have to feel like I've been stuffed into a freezer full of patchouli?
I do like the ones who decorate. It reminds me of India.
Ive been watching closely since this thread was started. I go into Tutu at least 4 times a week and down to the cruise port to pick up people 3 times a week at least. I have been paying close attention and haven't noticed ONE safari with non-working lights, missing bumpers or even driving erratically. It does get to be a mess at Drakes Seat but kinda to be expected on days with several ships in.
I will say that DAILY I see a lot of privately owned cars and trucks driving like complete IDIOTS, swerving into my lane going wayyyyy too fast, missing taillights and bumpers, and hell some missing half their front fenders. 😀
It dangerous out there as most people do not pay attention, too busy yakking on cell phones, blasting thru stops signs at intersections, and all the other numerous ways that have you swerving to get out of their ways while on your side of the road. I narrowly missed being forced into the guardrail going down the road to Magens because an empty taxi van was driving in the middle of the road. 2 millimeters more and I would have been crashed into the railing. Heart pounding experience on a large, wide, empty road with another idiot. Drive defensively and stay aware!
Sheese Alana that sucks! I had some dude that wanted my spot at al cohens yesterday haul ass behind me to get the spot and I was about an inch from hitting him! Defiantly heat pounding. I'm like DUDE I'm still in the spot and now u be blocking me in! LOL! I also think some people drive waaaayyyyy to fast!!
"Wheatley said her office frequently gets complaints from passengers who have fallen out of a safari or were otherwise injured riding on one....Wheatley said she’s working on setting up training for drivers of all vehicles for hire. “I hope to have it launched by June.” " http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2013/04/01/undercurrents-safaris-defy-definition-skirt-regulation
Is the referenced "training for drivers of all vehicles for hire" in place for the June deadline?
No one's going to inspect anything. Especially taxi vans with their lobby.
First experience at the "inspection" desk at the BMV:
Question 1 -- Do you have a DVR?
Answer: In my CAR? Uh, no.
Question 2 -- Do you have spinning rims?
Answer: I don't even know what that is, so, uh, no.
STAMP. "You're inspected."
Never once actually laid eyes on my vehicle.
Like it or not, many people would be up the creek without the safari vans especially since there is little to no reliable public transportation.
The northside of STT is only serviced by 1 school bus. The VI Government has yet to figure out that regular buses are not meant
for this terrain and insist on the purchase of the right transportation vehicles for public use and allow all areas of the island service.
On the Northside and West End --- There is a Vitran bus that runs from town up Crown Mt. road - takes the West End Rd.  through Est.Pearl, Santa Maria, Fortuna and Bordeaux and does the return trip - a few times a day -- the early morning trip from Bordeaux has a fairly full ridership and is [almost] always reliable.