Cyclists need to ride on the left

| 15/07/2018 | 15 Comments

I am a Caymanian who has visited and even stayed in several different countries. I have always been curious why cyclists here are allowed to ride on the wrong side of the road – is it even legal? In most countries, all modes of transport have to abide by strict road codes including cyclists hand signals (mind you, most car drivers don’t know how to signal, so I guess that’s a moot point) and cyclists driving on the wrong side of the road would be stopped and cautioned or even fined. I know I have had very close calls with cyclists flying down the wrong side of the road and nearly hitting me exiting a car park or apartment complex when the view is obscured.


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Auntie’s answer: I have received several related questions on what cyclists are and are not allowed to do on the road as well as one posing the same query as you have. But I don’t mind addressing this concern again. The simple answer is that anyone riding a bicycle has to follow the same rules of the road as drivers of cars.

I am sure others have experienced the same close calls as you describe; I know I have.

So, to be absolutely clear, cyclists are not allowed to ride on the wrong side of the road against traffic, which means it is an offence that can earn them a ticket. The issue with there being enough police officers around to catch these offenders in the act is another thing.

I would also point you to two previous columns for a bit more information (see Cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road and Cyclists and obeying the Traffic Law).

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Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Auntie, As you mention, ‘not enough Police around to catch the offenders’… I bet you if I took the bad cyclists lead and started driving my car or motorbike on the wrong side of the Road, the Police would sit up and notice…. I’ve NEVER heard or seen a cyclist being stopped and cited for this offence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I watched a car coming out of an Apartment Complex on West Bay Road… cyclist ( on wrong side of the road)…..FLIES … across the parking area and crashes into the exiting car…. (true story) …. flew over the hood…….
    I stopped and asked if everyone was OK (and maybe they were both in shock or )… but both totally ignored me….

  3. Anonymous says:

    What makes matters worse is that the people borrowing bikes at the Kimpton, Marriott and Margaritaville are not advising the new Cayman road users that they should be on the left and not on the kerb. They are oblivious to the dangers they are causing themselves and others. One group of Marriott visitors told me they were advised to cycle on the left, but that they had been told they could ride on the sidewalk. And in 20 years I have never seen a cyclist even stopped for this behaviour, although it seems to have become much worse in the last couple of years (and much more dangerous as road use has become less disciplined in general).

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think it also should be pointed out that by law bikes must have lights on them after dark. It is illegal to ride a bike after dark with out working lights.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cars are too much of a status symbol here for cyclists to be considered when planning new roads or upgrading existing roads. I spotted that back in the early 90’s when they upgraded WB Road.
    Also, the Dingdongs that ride on the wrong side of the road are not online to see any of this, so don’t expect it to change with your headline! lol
    However, they will definitely hear me yelling across at them, that they are on the wrong side of the road. Or when I pass them in my car…

    A Cyclist

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can the idiots cycling without lights at night be locked up please?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Why do cyclist ride on the sidewalks? South Church street cycling is an accident waiting to happen especially with wide trucks, busses and fuel trucks. If two wide vehicles passing on the road meet they are going to die.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As a cyclist I agree that cyclists should always ride on the left and I have encountered many cyclists riding against me while on the left. It is both dangerous and irritating.

    I would however like to point out at least one instance where it is safer to be on the right. The stretch of dual carriageway between the Hurley’s roundabout and Kings sports centre has a wide stretch of shoulder going West and in parts ‘off road’. For a cyclist to exit Hurley’s and negotiate the Hurley’s roundabout during peak times to turn right is suicidal. There is simply not enough traffic gap to safely negotiate the roundabout. The approach speed of the traffic heading East is too fast and indicators are rarely used to indicate exit. There is no safe place to cross the carriageway and for this reason it is safer to ride that strip on the shoulder going West and cross the road after the Kings sports centre where it is not dual carriageway.

    On the West bound carriageway where one has to endure large speeding trucks that seem to think it is funny to blow their horns for cyclists to presumably get out their way. There is the additional hazard of drain gratings that have been positioned so their grooves are parallel to the road and a cycle wheel will easily drop in them. They are not safe to ride over meaning the cyclist has to go around them.

    This is a case of poor city planning where cyclists and pedestrians have not been considered. Pedestrians are often seen crossing the carriageway in perilous traffic conditions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Also, the section before Red Bay, heading east from Grand Harbour, the road splits into three lanes, with traffic going left into Red Bay/stupidly driving through an area that has a bypass, and the other two lanes going on to the dual carriageway. If you’re going straight up to the roundabout, you have unskilled drivers going 35-60mph to your left and right within 1 metre. It is seriously dangerous. I’d risk cycling on the opposite side where Vista Caribe is, even as it chokes to a section about 1.5 metres wide.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now. as the original poster of this question – I have to ABSOLUTELY agree with every word you say … Unfortunately, not every cyclist has your sane frame of mind when ‘flying’ up the road… doing ‘wheelies’ etc…no hand signals (we don’t know what they are in Cayman…except for when my East End Daddy taught me – pre-kindergarten)… but still, your point is well taken ..

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