Motorcycles should stay in their lane

| 09/07/2018

I very frequently notice motorcycles and scooters driving down the middle of the road and in the bicycle lanes in an apparent effort to evade traffic. Is this practice legal? If so, how does it affect other drivers’ “right of way” within their lane position? If there was an accident, how is fault assigned as it’s hard to anticipate someone speeding down the middle of the road, especially on bends and roundabouts.

Cayman National Bank

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Auntie’s answer: I think every driver on the road in Cayman has seen motorcycles and scooters zipping in and out of traffic or blithely riding between the lanes. I certainly have and I always find it annoying as well as very dangerous.

My feelings aside, I asked the RCIPS for the legal ramifications of your question. The information provided by the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) should come as no surprise.

To start with, a representative of the TMU pointed out that, generally speaking, it is legal for motorcycles to overtake, but added, “That does not mean that they can just ride along for an extended period in the middle of the road.” In case that isn’t clear enough, it is not legal to ride down the centre line and “all motorcycles/scooters must conform to the Traffic Law and so must drive in designated lanes to that effect”.

It is also illegal for motorcycles to undertake, meaning they should never use a bicycle lane, which, of course, makes all kinds of sense and that point should never be in doubt, as far as I am concerned.

As for determining fault in the case of an accident, the police said blame is assigned according to the specifics of each situation, so they are unable to offer a general answer to that question.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Which lane should the motorised bicycles use?

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is perfectly legal to overtake a car on a motorcycle, just like cars overtake other cars. I used to ride a motorcycle to and from work, but have since stopped because of the dangers and the lack of consideration from people operating motor vehicles.

    I’ve experienced a female driving try to pull out of traffic in front of my motor cycle for no other apparent reason other than to stop me from passing traffic. That was the most irresponsible and childish maneuver I have ever witnessed.

    Why would people think that bikes should have to wait behind traffic like a car? One of the reasons people use bikes and scooters is the ease of commute. Once you overtake on a broken line it is perfectly legal. The day a biker gets hit and injured or worse from one of these idiotic drivers, i wish they would rot in jail.

  3. Anonymous says:

    can we find out if traffic should stay in the left lane unless overtaking please and start enforcing that too.

    • Anonymous says:

      I second this request, I too would like to know more information about this.

    • Anonymous says:

      The other day a police car with lights & sirens on came past me in the right hand lane, then further up the road a car was keeping in the right hand lane so the police car when past them in the left hand lane! The police car should have made them move to the left so if they wont follow “traffic keeps left” then the answer to your question is “anybody”!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion, as a driver, I personally think lane splitting done by motorcyclists is fine, the problem that I have seen a lot of times is other drivers simply not paying attention to their mirrors.

    Mind you not just motorcyclists, small vehicles too, as I was personally ran off the road by a big truck that couldn’t see me in his blind spot when I was driving a smaller vehicle.

    That said most motorcyclists have a small visible footprint and they can sometimes be hard to see, this is made worse by people who own and drive left hand drive vehicles, as they have a more difficult time seeing approaching motorcyclists from their blind spot, especially if they did not notice them in their mirrors.

    But in my eyes from my personal experience so far is, motorcyclists honestly won’t really get in your way on your normal commute the majority of the time. The only time I’ve witnessed an occasion in where motorcyclists just blatantly got in your way, is the time they were riding in a large pack back in that so called ride of the century. But for me this has happened only once, and stands as an isolated incident with me.

    As a driver, who honestly doesn’t know how to ride motorcycles, the only thing that comes to my mind when i see motorcyclists, is that my large vehicle, happens to be more dangerous to them rather than they really are to me. So I personally try to keep an eye on my surroundings at all times in order to share the road properly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for the well thought out comment.

      I ride a bike, but I also have a car. In rush hour traffic, I lane split. Why would I wait in a queue of cars and trucks? I ride within the speed limits, and do not hinder anyone in a car. I also need to use my Spidey senses so as not to get killed by people on cell phones.

      What I do see, as a result of going past many cars, includes:
      Kids bouncing around unrestrained, people eating (I’m talking from trays), about 20% not using seatbelts, people texting, drivers jumping from one lane to another and back again to save 5 seconds but actually slow all other cars down, trucks with bald tires, cars overtaking on single carriageways in heavy traffic etc etc etc

      Motorcycles are not the enemy! (Apart from idiots on dirt bikes popping wheelies because they watched some moron on YouTube)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Police should follow the law as well. They do this all day

    • Anonymous says:

      There is one Motor Cycle Officer who does think he is quite a stunt rider.