Kaieteur News – Many years ago, I warned about the lurking danger on our roads. The presence of big bikes ridden in some cases by persons without helmets is a road safety threat.
Since then I have read about incidents of big bikers being killed following accidents. Many of these deaths result from the biker losing control.
Guyana’s roads are not made for big bikes, defined as anything about 175 cc. Any bike bigger than this, belongs at the South Dakota Racing Circuit. It does not belong on our roads. We do not have inter-state highways which would be better suited for such bikes.
Yet, we still find bikers riding big bikes on our busy and narrow streets, filled with intersections and traffic lights and all manner of obstructions. And in some cases, there are pillion riders holding on for dear life.
Anyone who has sat as a pillion rider on one of these big bikes knows that it is not easy to balance yourself. You can fall off at the slightest bump.
In some parts of the country, there are now groups of persons who can be seen riding big bikes at break-neck speed along our public roads. These bikers rev their engines and open up on roadways, including where there is human habitation alongside the roads. With cows and sheep also competing for space on our roads, these big bikes present a danger to life and limb – foremost the life and limb of the rider.
Road fatalities have resulted from accidents involving these big bikes. In many instances, the riders do not have the skills to control these big bikes and the speed at which they move. But in the majority of cases, it is simply a situation in which our roads are not designed for such bikes and their bursts of speed.
Some big bikers openly flout the law because they know that the police cannot catch them. The police have no chance of catching them. Therefore, even if the police notice that a bike has broken the law, the police cannot get near to make an arrest or to even see the number plate. And so some of them ride without helmets, thus further exposing themselves to danger.
One has to ask whether any special examination was done by those who are riding these big bikes. It is not advisable that a person who is certified to ride a motorcycle should simply be allowed to use that licence to pilot one of these big bikes. Special classes and training are required to manoeuvre a big bike.
Some riders like to do stunts on the road. And some of them are not stunt men. Their actions are placing them in danger as well as others who may be innocently in the vicinity.
These big bikes should not be on our roads. They are suited for the racing circuits not our public roads. They should be banned.
A law should be passed outlawing the riding of a motorcycle above 175 cc on our roadways. No new big bikes should be registered by the Guyana Revenue Authority. Those who have registered their big bikes should be told that they can only use their bikes at the South Dakota Racing Circuit but not on our roads. No further importation of big bikes should be allowed, except those imported for racing in which case, certification is needed from the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club indicating that the person concerned is involved in motor racing and that permission is granted for the person to use the bike on the racing circuit.
This measure will save lives. It will make our roads safer. The measure will be controversial but it is measure that is needed to save these big bike riders from themselves. They do not understand the danger to which they are exposing themselves.
They can easily fall off these bikes. They can easily lose control, as many have before, and end up crashing into something, resulting in death. They can easily hit pedestrians given the speed with which they move. If you are crossing the road and end up in the path of one of these big bikes, then you are in danger of being killed.
These bikes do not belong on our roads, ever. Even if our roads improve, they should be banned.
It is time for the Minister of Home Affair to take action and ban these big bikes from our roadways. Let us not wait until another tragedy strikes before we act. Prevention is better than cure.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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