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Local motorcycle boom means more accidents, more licensing and inspection violations

The number of motorcycles on Cuenca streets is skyrocketing. So are the number of motorcycle accidents and citations written for drivers.

A motorcyclist maneuvers between lanes of traffic, a violation under Ecuador law. (El Tiempo)

According to the Cuenca Mobility Corporation (EMOV) the number of motorcycles and motorized scooters operating in the municipality has more than doubled in less than three years, growing from 6,465 at the end 2016 to 14,400 through the first half of 2019.

According to Carlos Balarezo, EMOV director, more than 75 percent of accidents involving motorcycles are the fault of drivers. “The majority are the result of incompetence,” he says. “Disrespect for traffic lanes and traffic signals are reasons for the majority of accidents involving motorcycles with drunken driving responsible for about 10 percent of them.”

From January and May of 2019 there were 108 accidents involving motorcycles, EMOV reports, compared to 76 in the same period of 2016. Three motorcyclists have died so far in 2019.

Particularly alarming, says Balarezo, is that large number of drivers are not licensed to drive motorcycles. “The law requires that motorcycle operators have the motorcycle type A license but many of those we ticket are driving with the type B automobile license or no license at all.”

To earn the type A license, drivers must take a two week motorcycle operator class.

In addition to citations for improper licensing, Balarezo said that more than a hundred have been issued for motorcycles that do not have a current inspection certificate. In all, more than 900 citations have been written for violations since the beginning of the year.

So far in 2019, EMOV has impounded 500 motorcycles, mostly for license violations and drunk driving.

9 thoughts on “Local motorcycle boom means more accidents, more licensing and inspection violations

  1. When I got my first motorcycle my Dad said “when you think your master of the bike sell it because the bike is always the master”. He was so right!!

  2. is it true that you can’t get a licence here without graduating high school ? that could contribute to the number of unlicensed riders …. unless bribes work to get the licence … lol

    1. If you’re gonna use 4pelegatos as a source, you might as well cite Alex Jones while you’re at it.

  3. The noise level from these two wheeled menaces has also skyrocketed. It was especially so much “fun” to hear them racing and roaring by our apartment between 2:00 am and 4:00 am. I also enjoyed having to dodge the idiots driving them on sidewalks and see them run stop signs and red lights.I surmise that no rules of the road apply to motorcycles.

  4. Another phenomenon I’ve noticed in my patients in many developing countries: Getting a motorcycle almost inevitably leads to obesity. I’ve seen it over and over again. A patient gets to where they can afford one of those cheap Chinese or Indian bikes and within 6 months they’ve gained 20 kilos. Someone should do a study and publish a paper on it (looking at you, Susan!).

    1. There are still many rural areas where buses don’t travel regularly. Often times those who live in these rural areas can afford a cheap motorcycle vs. an automobile. You might be noticing the change from using a type of transportation that requires exercise (walking and bicycle) to one that doesn’t?

      1. Clearly, but it would be nice to have objective data in order to be able to quantify the true impact of this transportation transition.

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