Heads up

Eastbound on the Sir Francis Drake Highway Tuesday morning, a Beaconite saw a police cruiser creeping along far slower than the speed limit. After having spent more than enough time observing driving culture in the territory, the reporter suspected that the officer was on his phone. Upon pulling alongside and around the officer, the reporter was not surprised to see the officer’s head down with phone in hand. Though they were driving slowly with no one else around, the reporter sees no reason why the officer’s actions were justifiable. He understands that police communicate amongst themselves via cellular phone but believes that a phone call is distracting enough in itself: Texting and driving is much more dangerous, especially when considering the state of the territory’s roads and the number of residents who hitch along the roadside. Even at just 20 miles per hour, striking someone with a motor vehicle can be deadly. Using the phone while driving is fairly commonplace in the Virgin Islands, but the Beaconite wishes people would weight the importance of their texts over the safety of others. As for people who drive for a living, like police officers, taxi drivers and truck drivers, the rules should not be bent for them. Instead, professional motorists should be the example, not the exception.


On the job

A Beaconite found that she did not mind working over the holiday weekend. Attending the Easter Monday Parade on Virgin Gorda was just as enjoyable as it would have been if she weren’t on the clock. As she waited for the parade to start alongside the spectators, she took in the lowkey energy of everyone around her. The day was about having a good time. She felt welcomed by attendees, and she enjoyed chatting with spectators and parade participants alike. Though the parade did not start even close to on time, most people did not seem to mind. Once the festivities began, a mixture of sounds filled the air. Music blasted from the trucks of various troupes as their members danced along. One troupe featured drummers who played as other members of their group danced. The piercing sound of whistles being blown by some troupes and also some spectators (whistles were among the items that were passed out) was also heard in all parts of the parade. It was this reporter’s first time attending the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival, so she was not quite sure what to expect. But it was safe to say she was not disappointed.



Customer feedback


A Beaconite believes that customer-feedback systems employed by the public service are bearing fruit. One such system is the government’s “RateUs” page, which allows clients to provide feedback about individual public officers at the website http://rateus.gov.vg/. Another is the “BVI GOV Report It App,” which accepts photo reports of problems around the territory. And, of course, the Customer Service Care Centre at 494-3701 offers all sorts of advice and assistance to anyone experiencing a problem. The Beaconite has used the “RateUs” system several times, mainly to compliment public officers who went above and beyond to assist. The system is efficient and useful. He also routinely uses the customer service centre, calling about all manner of issues. Though the phone number occasionally rings busy, the officers at the centre are unfailingly polite, friendly and helpful. He hasn’t yet used the app, but he plans to try it out soon. He wants to offer kudos to the government for implementing such systems, which he believes are making a big difference: He has noticed in recent months that service has improved dramatically in multiple public agencies.