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#435630 - 04/13/12 01:32 PM Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles?
Marty Offline
Last night we told you about the Mayor's action plan for his first hundred days in office. It's an ambitious list of 100 things he and the council will have to do in the next 9 weeks. And one of these objectives under the Restoring The Quality of Life heading caught our attention. Point number 94 on that list says the council will enforce the laws dealing with bicycles. But what does that mean? There's a whole generation of bicycle riders who don't even know that there are laws on the books for riding bikes. The mayor explained yesterday at the press conference that it's just common sense.

Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor
"It is against the law to ride two persons on a bicycle. It is against the law to ride a bicycle up stop and it is against the law to not license a bicycle. Those are 3 examples which again I do think that we need buy in and we need public campaigning. But the things we are talking about are not things which are novel."

"The regulations are there. When you look at the traffic code, when we look at all of these things; all of these things are there. What we need to do is enforce it."

"I had a conversation with our courts manager Ms. McKenzie and she indicated again that this is an area also for our quality of life and compliance and it's also an area for increase revenue. If people are getting tickets for this which they should be getting and we collect on those tickets; that is more money that we could fix streets with. That's more money that we could clean up the city with."

Jules Vasquez
"A lot of people ride bike, that's why I am asking. What would you enforce? Licensing?"

Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor
"All of it, so that when we stop persons - we stop vehicles - we stop bicycles already. No riding up stop. No riding two persons. The same thing that you have said; the infractions are common sense."

Robin Schaffer reporting
And there's a lot to crack down on, we took to the streets where violations were visible on every corner, from double riding in the city to riding up stop in the downtown area. Everywhere we turned we saw cyclists committing violations, so we wondered how they would react to the enforcement of these long dormant regulations. We spoke to three cyclists to gauge their response.

Elvis Lord - bicyclist
"I think it's a good idea. They have their reasons and I feel like it's a good idea. If they say I have to license it, I will license my bike."

Robin Schaffer
"And do you commit any of the other offences like riding up stop or?"

Elvis Lord - bicyclist
"I ride up stop before but if they enforce the law then I will have to go around."

George Abraham - bicyclist
"If they enforce the regulation with riding up stop, double ride and like that, it's good, but to license bicycles - I don't think that would really help to license a bike. But for double ride, bell and lights, it's good. They can enforce that, but to license a bicycle, it's very hard to license a bicycle."

"If you license a bike, you have to have the serial number and the receipt. Some people have old frames from long ago that they used on their bicycle so that they can get around. So I don't think the licensing would work, but bell, light, double ride, up stop and think can be enforce."

Robin Schaffer
"Do you ride up stop or commit any of the offences?"

George Abraham - bicyclist
"To be honest I do it sometimes and I get away. To ride up stop is against the law completely."

Daniel Ortiz - bicyclist
"It's a good idea in the sense that it will keep certain things from escalating but the whole licensing thing - I am not so sure about that one. I don't have a license for my bike; I just have the proof that I purchased it."

"From time to time when I want to get to certain places it's more useful to ride a quick up stop session, so yes from time to time I do. I definitely had been caught before riding up stop trying to zoom past a certain section of the city to get where I am at especially when I am late."

Robin Schaffer
"So let's say they would enforce it. Would you then stop these offences?"

Daniel Ortiz - bicyclist
"Of course."

So if people are ready for the change, we thought we would get a headstart on it from the traffic department.

Traffic Department personnel
"Good morning traffic."

Robin Schaffer
"Good morning, I was wondering, who can I talk to about licensing my bike?"

Traffic Department personnel
"What kind of bike?"

Robin Schaffer
"Just a normal bicycle, one of those beach cruisers."

Traffic Department personnel
"We don't do bicycle license."

Robin Schaffer
"I heard on TV that the mayor said that you guys will start enforcing laws dealing with bicycles and that you have to start licensing your bike, so I wanted to get ahead of the curve and licensed my bike."

Traffic Department personnel
"Hold one minute."

Traffic Department personnel
"Hello."

Robin Schaffer
"Hello, I was wondering who can I talk about licensing my bicycle."

Traffic Department personnel
"Ma'am we don't know anything about the licensing of bicycles as yet."

Robin Schaffer
"When can I find out about it?"

Traffic Department personnel
"Probably you can contact the police department."

Robin Schaffer
"Alright, they will know?"

Well in the next 66 days - by June 16th - they'll have to know - according to the mayor:

Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor
"People have spoken about this before. What we need to do is we just need to be serious about and we need to be consistent with it."

We did call the police traffic department which, predictably, referred us back to the city council traffic department, and you already know how that story ends.

Channel 7


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#435652 - 04/13/12 03:00 PM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
What is "riding up stop"?

Going against a one-way street? Running through a stop-sign? Or something completely different ......?

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#435678 - 04/13/12 05:37 PM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
Against traffic.

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#435680 - 04/13/12 05:48 PM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
shuffles Offline
Licensing? We have 8 bikes that we have had forever that we allow our guests to use. Would be hard to find the receipts for all of them, and some of them are pieced together from ones that rusted apart and the like.
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#435684 - 04/13/12 06:03 PM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
Thank you Simon. You learn something new every day.

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#435690 - 04/13/12 06:23 PM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
collyk Offline
You are also not allowed to push your bike against traffic either - ie. getting off and pushing it. I was actually stopped by the police in San Pedro for doing this on Middle Street. I looked into it and it is, in fact, the law.
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#435755 - 04/14/12 03:20 AM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
One of the most frightening things that has happened a number of times is when I start making a right hand turn to find a bicycle passing me on the right.
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#435786 - 04/14/12 01:50 PM Re: Can Belize Regulate Its Bicycles? [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
The other day I saw a young woman riding a bicycle along the busy stretch of road by Castillos. She had a baby in a carrier on the back and was texting with one hand as she wobbled along beside trucks and carts speeding by.

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