Driving in St. Maarten and St. Martin is a relatively simple task, and most tourists find that navigating their own vehicles is almost like driving at home. The freedom to travel about at your own rate attracts many tourists to braving the sometimes dangerous traffic conditions on the island.
To drive in St. Maarten or St. Martin, all vacationers need is their valid home driver's license. This is the same for both the French and Dutch sides of the island. Vacationers driving on the island must exhibit a little bit of patience with the local livestock, as these animals are not afraid to take a pause right in the middle of the road. According to St. Maarten and St. Martin traffic law, cows have the right-of-way on the island. Tourist will have to sit and wait out these beasts, who often take their time crossing the road.
Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, like in most parts of North America, which may come as a pleasant surprise to many travelers visiting the island. The majority of driving rules are pretty basic, like keep your eyes on the road and obey traffic signs, which can most of the time be read in French, Dutch, and English. Travelers must remember that unlike most of North American, the road signs and speedometers on the island are in kilometers instead of miles.
If you do happen to get into an accident while driving on the island, don't try and move the car, and immediately dial telephone number 22222 in the Dutch St. Maarten and 87-50-04 on the French side.
Rental cars may be the preferred method of travel for some tourists, but not others. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to get around the island. Jitneys, the local term for buses, are available in major cities and in rural areas on both sides of the island, though they may as well be called party buses for the loud music and friendly atmosphere that blast from them. Taxis offer a slightly quieter approach to transportation, and can be hailed for a fixed rate between two locations.
Some of the driving conditions on the island may be unfamiliar to many vacationers visiting the island. By taking the necessary precautions, vacationers who choose driving as their primary method of transportation can enjoy the roads on St. Maarten and St. Martin.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.