Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Unfair Comparison - Vancouver Life

Everyone has seen the dilapidated motorcycles here in Merida that carry one driver, one wife, one child (some or all helmet-less) and a carton of 24 eggs; or perhaps a worker wearing a construction site hard hat (counts as a helmet right?) his assistant on the back and a 12 foot aluminum ladder. Somehow, while it scares the bejeezuz out of a first time visitor, they all seem to make it home or to work safely, for the most part.

In the land of plenty aka the 'First World' ie. Canada, things are so controlled that the government is involved in regulating and protecting to the point of smothering.

Take bicycles on Vancouver streets. Starting this July, the laws governing biking on streets, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Motor Vehicle Act, will be strictly enforced. What are some of those laws you ask, dear reader(s)? Here are a few, along with their fines, handily converted to pesos for your enjoyment:
  • No helmet - $348.00 pesos
  • Riding on a sidewalk - $1308.00
  • Two bikes side by side on a road - $1308.00
  • Not riding seated - $1308.00
  • (this includes hills; your butt cannot leave that seat - imagine the fun police officers will have, being able to justify watching people's butts!)
  • Carrying a passenger - $1308.00
  • Hitching a ride from a passing vehicle - $1308.00
  • Look Mom, no hands - $1308.00
  • Not paying attention - $1308.00
  • Not having reasonable consideration (sounds uniquely Canadian doesn't it?) - $1308.00
  • No bell on your bike? - $1308.00
If you bump into a pedestrian and cycle away, that's considered hit and run and a criminal offense under the aforementioned MV Act.

No wonder Canadians stare in wonder at the transportation possibilities here in Merida when they see their first 100cc Kazuki loaded with entire families off to the beach at Progreso!

8 comments:

: : ~ said...

A sad day for the diablito industry. On the other hand, it seems that canadian drivers are reasonably considerate and care about bikers, are they not?

William Lawson said...

Yes, Canadians are reasonably considerate, compared to say, Miami or someplace. :)

Ray said...

Very interesting and living the experience of the "laws" here, I'm now waiting for the day we have to have seatbelts and airbags on our bicycles.

Good comment regarding reasonably considerate....NOT.

The horse riding association out here in the countryside actually took up arms about the drivers when a horse and rider were struck by a vehicle. As a group they rode into (literally) city hall and demanded signs be posted giving instructions on how to pass a horse and rider on the side of the road. We now have neon green signs on all major roadways informing us drivers of the correct procedure when passing horse and rider.

Back to the bike rider, I will continue, depending on the road and or intersection, to use the sidewalk.

You could also discuss drivers here compared to Merida, as example the number of roll overs that occur almost daily on major routes is astounding and I can't figure out how they do it unless someone is putting those little ramps out that you drive onto to help create the barrel roll as in demolition derbys.

William Lawson said...

What you don't know, Ray, if you are referring to rollovers here, is that many people here in the Yucatan are in training to become stunt drivers in Hollywood. If you are referring to Vancouver, same thing, except it would be Hollywood north. Thanks for stopping by!

Ray said...

SO my dearest has pointed out that when you see the sign in the back of car windows that states "student driver" that is actually to mislead you as remove the letters "de" and what do you have...........STUNT driver!

Grant said...

$1,308 pesos isn't too bad. Here in Los Angeles, a colleague of my wife got hit with a $436 US ticket for rolling a right turn through a red light. Nothing unsafe, just a slow roll instead of a stop. He was caught by a red light camera. They didn't even have to pay a policeman's salary to nab him.

There are a lot of people here for whom that's most of a week's wages. I'd think you could win the governor's race here just by promising to cap traffic fines at $50.

William Lawson said...

Nice to hear from you Grant! So when are you running for Governor?

Grant said...

**Nice to hear from you Grant! So when are you running for Governor?

Oddly enough, I have moved my career into entertainment recently (TV editing, thanks to Sra Grant)

But I've probably killed too many people to start a career in politics (or maybe not enough, depending on how you view things) Tempting, though. The formerly Golden State has big problems and they think they can fix them by charging $436 for rolling through a turn.