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!