Much Needed Initiative

A letter went out at the beginning of January to the Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport addressing the fact that ARUBA has experienced a series of accidents involving UTV vehicles and tourist. AHATA along with the community is concerned for the protection of our visitors and for these accidents’ effect on the reputation of Aruba.

AHATA stands for tourism companies that operate in a responsible and safe manner and we endorse introduction of regulation to ensure safe circumstances for our tourist, our community and our flora and fauna.

In consultation with our members that operate UTV tours, we have compiled the attached set of regulations to propose for legislation.

It is important that the rules not only be introduced by law but are also accompanied by a sound plan for enforcement and a clear definition of which agency is authorized and responsible for such enforcement.

We also believe that it is essential that there are repercussions for lack of compliance such as fines and eventual loss of permit.

We appreciate your consideration and are available to answer any questions you may have

Sincerely,

Tisa LaSorte

President and CEO

Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association.

c/c Minister of Transport, Minister of Justice & AHATA Board of Director

 AHATA Suggestions for Regulation for UTV Operators

  1. Strict enforcement of required permits and regulations to be able to operate.
  2. Ban the rental of UTV/ATV vehicles directly to individuals. Rental is only allowed by a registered operator in a guided tour (caravan style).
  3. Max size of a caravan is 10, including 1 guide in front, 1 guide in back and 8 tourist vehicles in between.
  4. If vehicles are owned or leased, all rules and requirements must be complied with (including proper license plates, insurance, etc).
  5. Every operator must have an insurance policy which includes liability insurance with a minimum of USD $1M coverage per incident.
  6. All operators must have a written safety manual and proof that every employee has read and signed it.
  7. Safety and rules briefing for each tourist driver is required, prior to start of tours.
  8. Every operator must have a set of written Accident & Incident Procedures dealing with the handling of guests in the event of an accident/incident.
  9. A properly stocked first aid kit must always be in the guide vehicle.
  10. Every guide must have properly working cell phone in the event of emergencies.
  11. Every guide/driver must have a “green card” (health card).
  12. Minimum age for guides is 25 years.
  13. Minimum age to drive the vehicle is 23 years.
  14. Minimum age for passengers is 12 years.
  15. Every guide must be first aid certified and be recertified annually.
  16. Every vehicle must be inspected by the authorities annually and can be determined to be beyond their lifespan after 18 months (lifespan can vary depending on type of UTV vehicle, a Sports Side Vehicle has a longer lifespan with off-roading than farming vehicles, for example).
  17. Every vehicle must be equipped with turn-signal lights, and governors to regulate speed.
  18. UTV’s are required to be well-maintained and Operators are required to keep up to date maintenance records of every vehicle which must be made available for inspection by the authorities upon request.
  19. Dangerous maneuvers such as fishtailing, donuts, driving in undesignated areas or off the trail are prohibited by all drivers.
  20. Guides are required to respect and protect local flora and fauna.
  21. Ban the vehicles from certain roads/main arteries (such as Irausquin Blvd, L.G. Smith Blvd, Downtown, etc.)

 

Additionally:

  1. Protect certain trails/areas from use by any motorized vehicles.

 

Note:

Need to determine what authority is responsible for ensuring compliance and the consequences of or penalties for non-compliance.

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February 09, 2019
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