Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Rider Per Motorcycle

The Ministry of the Interior yesterday released the official government journal Government Agreement 105-2009, which prohibits motorcycles and motorized bicycles that are occupied by more than one person. Those rules go into effect starting today and comes in response to the wave of violence affecting the country.

The constant attacks being committed by criminals who ride motorcycles and murder the drivers of passenger transport vehicles or holdup busloads of passengers prompted the Interior Ministry to respond with a government agreement that prohibits, starting Thursday morning, April 9th, more than one rider on a motorcycle.

Moreover, the agreement obliges motorcycle riders to wear a reflective vest, with a distinctive yellow fluorescent reflective pattern, with the license plate number of the motorcycle visible from five meters away.

It also requires that a white sticker with the license plate number appear on the helmet of the driver.

In accordance with Article 185 of the Traffic Regulations, fines shall apply for all violations.

Removal or covering of the identification markings or not wearing a vest that complies with the rules will be fines Q1,000. Obstruction of a public highway or use of a public highway for racing carries a fine of Q5,000 to Q25,000.

The Interior Minister, Salvador Gándara said that this decision was made after analyzing the statistics, which show that most of these crimes are committed by people driving a motorcycle.

Gándara added that in countries where this law has been implemented, crime has fallen considerably, as is the case of Colombia.

"We know there are honest people who use this medium to travel, but people are crying out for security," the official said. However, he explained that once public safety has been restored the law can be amended so as not to affect honest motorists.

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