LETTER: Driving in Antigua and Barbuda


Dear Editor,

Please allow me to respond to the comments to my letter about the dangerous practices in your island.

As I did mention, Antigua and of Course the smaller island of Barbuda are two beautiful places. However, the civic pride of the population seems to have been infected with some form of virus.

In my previous letter, I made mention of the disgust of driving the streets and been encountered with road side grass cutters who refused to stop the cutting as vehicles pass nearby.

From the comments, I realised that this is obviously a long time practise on your island, but NOBODY seems to have ever addressed the issue and correct it.

Another issue that my family and I encountered while driving is the practise of a driver swerving over onto the right side of the road to get around the vehicle in front that is making a left turn.

That was really CRAZY !  i witnessed this occurrence many times during my five visits to Antigua. A few times I came close to colliding with a vehicle coming from the opposite direction because that vehicle manuevered over onto my side of the street.

This I would believe the drivers do since they refuse to slow down and stay on their side; behind the vehicle in front that is making a left turn.

Instead of slowing down and waiting for the vehicle in front to complete its left trun and then continue of their side, the drivers swirl over onto the right….even though there is traffic approaching from the other side ( on the right).

At the first encounter, my family and I had a laugh at it. But then as we realised that it was a common practise, we became more vigilant.

Driving in Antigua over the last five visits have become more exhaustive and dangerous. The roads have progressively deteoriated.

I am a journalist and I really do much observations as I travel through thee Caribbean islands.

I enjoy your beaches, the local food. I tell my friends that they must visit, but I always caution them about the roadside grass cutters, the bad road conditions and the garbage that is prevelant along the road sides.


Thank you for the space in your online paper.

Melvin Cambridge

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  1. When you drive in Antigua drive like your life depends on it, cause it does. Or just don’t drive. That’s the safest thing. I’d say take a bus, a taxi but they are 70% of the problem.
    The other 30%, people that seriously need to go to driving school cause they are idiots.

    • I usually smirk when someone decides to call others idiots. Then I often remember one has to be one to know one.

  2. …and, the garbage!
    …and, the garbage!
    …and, the garbage!
    …ain’t that the #truth!
    …’cause, they don’t seem to understand
    …how such things affect the Nation
    …and, its main industry Tourism.

  3. The man ain’t lie. Many times I’ve seen drivers swerving into oncoming traffic because they don’t want to wait on the driver in front of them to complete the left turn. This becomes even more dangerous if it’s a situation where that driver is making the left turn, and another driver is in the corner making a right turn.

    The filth on the roads is abominable. The stink sewage water running along the roads, the thick grass in the gutters, the potholes and whatever else obstructions that hasn’t been fixed, the poor lighting, the lack of street signs and road markings….

    The fact remains that we have a long way to go when it comes to road safety and transportation in this nation. The road network, public works, and the transport board isn’t a minor organization in this country. They are very essential, and all possible resources should be pumped into this entities to ensure proper commuting in the nation.

  4. Thanks for your letters. Maybe the crazy drivers here just wanted you to feel at home as nearly half the number of Antigua’s population perish in traffic accidents in the US every year. But seriously though thank God that that the youngsters here are not like those youths in Philadelphia that just invade the road and force vehicles off the road. Another crazy thing here, you may get help with a flat as oppose to get shoot by a police ( well that is if you are black). Again Antigua will have to go a long way with the garbage to make you feel at home if you are from South side Chicago, Baltimore or Nice Town Phili. Then again maybe you could write a letter to your State Department for them to pay Antigua the grossly under estimated sum of 21 million a year from the WTO ruling. With interest it is probably around half a billion USD today.

    • Typical response from a native who doesn’t want to acknowledge the real issues of poor drivers and road conditions. Instead you point out the failures of another country to deflect from the reality. I drove to the airport recently and witnessed at least 4 accidents due to the impatience and hogish driving of many. Not all drivers fit this description as many are responsible and safe drivers. Many times I have had to swerve and nearly ended up in a ditch to avoid oncoming vehicles. Why are there open ditches and uncovered drain channels? Who are the road planners, is there no budget to improve the country’s infrastructure.

  5. Mr Cambridge … we swerving so much to avoid potholes that we are professional swervers.
    This island cannot be saved.
    Now on to the next topic of grave importance: the nasty gutters on factory road!!!! Go write bout dat!!!

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