Cyclists and obeying the Traffic Law

| 01/08/2016

I would like to ask whether there exist clear rules for bicycle riders. In general I consider it dangerous to ride a bicycle in Cayman since, according to my experience, car and especially bus and truck drivers don’t care much about the fate of bicycle riders.

But besides this, I also don’t understand every behaviour of the bicyclists. Would like to know whether the law says on which side of the street a bicyclist has to drive, are they allowed to use the pedestrian walkway and is it a duty to have lights on a bicycle if the driving time is during darkness? I am asking all this since in my native country for these things exist clear rules (driving in the direction the cars are going, no use of walkways and a duty to have light during night), but in Cayman everybody seems to ridee around as they please.

Finally, if such laws exist, which I doubt since I have never seen the police caring about that, is the law enforced at all? How many tickets do the police give during a year to bicyclists?

Auntie’s answer: The issue of cyclists following (or rather not following) the rules of the road has come up before (See Drinking and riding a bicycle).

I understand your frustration at the on-the-road behaviour of many of the cyclists here. I could easily spend the rest of this column verbally wagging my finger at all of the two-wheeled scofflaws I have personally witnessed cycling around. The salient point here is that cyclists are required to follow the Traffic Law. As I said in the previous column, and I think it is worth repeating, the police consider the bicycle as simply another vehicle, the operation of which is governed by the same laws as for driving a car, so you are liable for all of the same offences.

I also take your point about the importance of cyclists using lights at night. All I can say about that is cars clearly need to use their lights at night, so I am going to go out on a limb and assume that the same would apply to cyclists.

I asked the police about ticketing cyclists and was told that none has been issued over the last 12 months. I would guess that doesn’t make you happy, but I do want to say that the police cannot be everywhere at once to issue tickets to all offenders. But there is good news. An RCIPS representative said that the police intend to add bicycle patrols in the coming weeks, which will increase their ability to regulate bike traffic and enforce the law with regard to cyclists.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ok, thanks for your answers. I appreciate that. Bicycle patrols would be a step forward, I guess. Will not comment on the remark that the police can not be everywhere, since we will probably have different opinions.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Some may recall seeing the former U.K. PM David Cameron sailing past a red traffic light in London on his bike a few years back. There seems quite a cavalier attitude by too many cyclists, I see it here constantly, and they are usually mature individuals from whom one would expect better. I almost fainted once when I saw a cyclist waiting at a traffic light, he was a kid on an old bike, God bless him!

  3. Anonymous says:

    As an avid cyclist that rides on the left and uses lights I would welcome enforcement because I am tired of meeting cyclists on the wrong side forcing me around them.

    I Would welcome ticketing of buses and taxis that just pullover in front of me stopping me in my tracks or waiting until I am passing them before they just pull out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve noticed that cyclists tend to use the pavement along seven mile beach, they look like tourists. I think that in the US bikes can use the pavement in some states. So we either need to tell cylists the Cayman rules, or make it OK to do so. I don’t mind bikes using the pavement as a) there aren’t many pedestrians and b) it seperates them from traffic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cyclists are considered another vehicle, thus they have the full right to use the road (all the way from the edge to the yellow line) and the auto should give them the full use as they should a scooter or motorcycle.

      The fact that often drivers shave far to close to the first two leads them to believe that cyclists don’t have a right to the road. Technically an auto should wait until there is no oncoming traffic and pass a bike as they would another car.

      On the flip side though, the cyclists on the bypass that have an 8 foot bicycle lane but for some reason still cycle on and over the yellow line edging into traffic drive me nuts.

      • Anonymous says:

        The bicycle lanes in Cayman are not swept frequently and end up as a collection point for gravel and all other things that are likely to cause danger. In general bicycle lanes are also used by walkers and runners, therefore bicycles travelling at over 15 MPH are advised to use the road as a safer option to traffic in the bicycle lane.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree 3.56pm…the only thing missing is that the majority of regular cyclists need to learn AND USE the correct hand signals which would certainly make some positive difference to their safety.

        • Anonymous says:

          Only problem with that is… when motorists wouldn’t know a turn indicator from a hole in the wall how could we expect poor Mr/Mrs Cyclist to learn hand signals ???

  5. anonymous says:

    Everybody knows the rules, nobody follows or enforces it. This is called a Human factor.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is actually called incompetence and corruption and pervades every aspect of our society.