Today’s story about an alleged illegal drivers’ licences racket will no doubt raise few eyebrows. Sometimes it seems as if every other day the island is confronted with new irregularities, although the driving school owner reportedly arrested is innocent until proven guilty.
The investigation apparently started because several motorists were caught with fake drivers’ licences during traffic controls. At least some of these persons had probably been aware what was going on and were simply trying to evade requirements like the examination.
It’s important to remember that knowingly participating in crime makes one an accomplice. The same can be said, for example, about buying goods without proof of origin at low prices that clearly indicate these were stolen.
But it’s not just a local problem. When Curaçao authorities recently decided that only motorcycles with the correct VIN number could pass vehicle inspection there was a huge uproar because of the many bikes lacking such. Their owners, of course, claimed they had bought these in good faith, but questions remain.
Readers need to understand that bending the rules is not okay and promotes lawlessness. What may seem rather innocent transgressions such as accepting a clearly looted product even as gift, no matter how small, undermine the legal order in society.
As St. Maarten celebrates Emancipation Day on July 1, it is good to keep in mind that developing a sense of collective responsibility within the community to consistently do the right thing should very much be part of the development and growth of any people.