Governor orders traffic enforcement stops pending authorization to limit travel

Photo shows a speed trap near the Boy Scouts facility in Upper Tumon. (PNC photo by Maurice Jones)

At the instruction of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, the Guam Police Department today set up a series of speed traps along island roads during which officers have been instructed to remind drivers stopped for speeding about the social distancing mandates that she has ordered.

During her Tuesday afternoon news conference, the governor said she asked Chief Steve Ignacio to launch a traffic enforcement program pending legislative action on her request for greater authority to implement even more restrictive measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The governor said it’s an opportunity for police to remind drivers about the importance of limiting their travel to essential purposes only.

“If someone is speeding, they’d pull them over. That’s normal legal authority and issue citations for that. Meanwhile, also, they would ask where you’re going and again educate them,” the governor said.

She added that’s all she can do at this point while she awaits action from the legislature to give her the power to set up checkpoints and impose limitations on social movement.

“We’re doing it more for education purposes and reminding people to follow the directive and that directive, of course, is to stay home and travel only for essential purposes and essential business like going to the pharmacy, going to the grocery store, going to your medical clinic, making sure your homes are safe,” said the Governor.

“Yes. It is an approval that I asked the chief to start doing,” the governor said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao said that all the officers involved in the operation are wearing the required PPE’s like masks and gloves and they are “exercising social distancing” when they stop motorists.