FYI: Guatemala outlaws riding 2-up

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by elmoreman, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. elmoreman

    elmoreman takin' a break, boss

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  2. tedder

    tedder irregular

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    Hah. That will be difficult to enforce- not because of tourists, but because of family transport via motorbike.
    #2
  3. elmoreman

    elmoreman takin' a break, boss

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    That was the focus of the story, actually--the family transportation aspect of it. I just thought it was interesting...doubt they'll stop many families, but any foreigners riding 2-up might want to know.
    #3
  4. C5!

    C5! Been here awhile

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    In many cities of Colombia it is the same but what is prohibited is a man sitting as a passenger, women are allowed.
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  5. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer Supporter

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    Is three and four up allowed?:rofl
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  6. tedder

    tedder irregular

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    Do you have sources on this? It sounds like an urban legend, kinda like the reasoning behind the orange vests.
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  7. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    Customs people in Bogota told me this when I was there in '06, and some locals in Medellin said the same thing. I believe. Not sure what you mean by the orange vests, but if you are refering to the Colombian chaleco, it is required, too.
    #7
  8. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

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    My wife is in Guatemala right now. More than 60 bus drivers have been killed recently, more than 30 of them by motorcycle-mounted gunmen. Dan
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  9. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    As crazy as it sounds , but since april 8 it is illegal in Guatemala to ride 2 up ! It is also mandatory to wear a vaste and have licenseplate # on the helemt .
    The fine is 125 $US

    For the next 2 weeks , the police will just stop you and inform you about the new law . After that , they will start writing tickets .

    Hopefully by then , some lawyer will have filed some complain , because the new law seems to be be unconstitutional
    #9
  10. C5!

    C5! Been here awhile

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    Example:
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]MEDELLÍN
    26/02/09
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Pico Placa motos 2 tiempos, la base es el primer dígito de la placa. Lunes 4 y 5, Martes 6 y 7, Miércoles 8 y 9, Jueves 0 y 1, Viernes 2 y 3. en los horarios: 6:30 a.m - 8:30 a.m. y 5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mediante el Decreto 264 expedido el 25 de febrero de 2009, queda prohibida la movilización de motocicletas de 100 c.c. con acompañante hombre las 24 horas los 7 días de la semana entre el 26 de febrero y el 21 de abril del presente año.

    Se exceptúa a los integrantes de la fuerza pública, militar, organismos de socorro y salud y a los medios de comunicación debidamente acreditados e identificados.
    [/FONT]


    A lot more cities have the same, All restrictions here:
    http://publimotos.com/restricciones.htm
    #10
  11. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    yeah, something like this took place in Mexico City, were NOW you CAN NOT use el Periferico, viaducto? and other main streets, due to crime that took place some 10+ years ago, and the laws are still in efect.

    It is a shame that you punish the motorcycle community instead of the criminal that actually do the crime!, at the end we all pay for stupid and inneficient police... sorry, I am not even from mexico city, but I would not want to have limited streets only because I am a motorcyclist.

    Damasovi
    #11
  12. judgejoe

    judgejoe Adventurer

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    Since my wife and I are heading to South America this September, I read several of the newspaper articles covering this story. I wasn't sure regarding the application of the ban-nation wide vs. just Guatemala City. Therefore, I wrote the US Consulate's Office. For a good laugh, here is The American Service Unit reply:

    """""Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 8:29 AM
    Dear ------ Thanks for your communication. In fact, last week was issued a new law for motorcycle riders in Guatemala, although we couldn't inform you if this applies to tourists too, for further information we advice you to contact the Vehicle Department and you can find their contact information on
    the following> link:
    > http://guatemala.usembassy.gov/acs_drivers_licenses.html
    > Thanks for your attention.
    > Sincerely,
    > American Citizen Services Unit
    > U.S. Embassy - Guatemala
    > Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
    > Tel. (502)2326-4405""""

    This is the unit that would provide some limited assistance in a emergency, including an arrest. I found their response unsatisfactory as a taxpaying US citizen and responded in this fashion:

    """"Hello Again: Thank you for your quick response. However, I expect more from The American Citizen Services Unit. First, I am in Colorado and do not have fluent command of the Spanish language. Second, you are in Guatemala City. Third, this is the type of information that should be on your website as news. I would think, as US citizens are frequently passing through on motorcycles, that you would have this information on hand and verify its application to US citizens (tourist or otherwise). There are a number of people who will head in that direction later this year, as they venture to South America. Some fly their equipment in to Argentina, at great expense, and travel back to the US. Either way Guatemala is a transit point. I am not the focal point for distribution of such information. But, I would not find it unusual for a US citizen to contact you or examine your web page, during the advance planning stage. There are people who are
    not even aware of this ban. What would happen if it were enforced and resulted in the removal of a US citizen and their detention in some isolated area of Guatemala. Let's us avert that unnecessary and embarrassing situation. If you find this email too abrupt, please accept my apology in advance.""""

    Actually, I wanted to be real offensive. I will let you all know what kind of a response I get. If this doesn't work, I will be writing my congressional representative.
    #12
  13. judgejoe

    judgejoe Adventurer

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    I just wanted to make this last post regarding the possible ban in Guatemala. Sjoerd Bakker, who I was responding to, is currently in Guatemala. The concern is how it will impact locals and transient visitors who ride two up on motorcycles. At this moment, the ban isn't in effect. I was hoping some changes could be made to avert what Sjoerd Bakker and I have concern over. I got an updated response from the US Embassey and it was encouraging because of their interest.

    My Post:
    Thanks Sjoerd Bakker. The Guatemalan US Embassey sent me an encouraging reply. Their response echoed some of the same concerns that you have brought up. Because of this alert, they are preparing a report to be published on the US Guatemalan Embassey website. It will take a while, and I understand why. First, the law is not in effect yet, but will soon be. Second, it appears it will apply nation wide. Third, there hasn't been an opportunity to interpret its application. This was not the encouraging part.

    On the more active side, the US Embassey, and there may be others, have initiated contact with their Guatemalan counterparts on the following issues: 1) How will it be interpreted and applied by local law enforcement. 2) Will there be exceptions. 3) Can a transit permit be created and issued to traveling tourist.

    For those in the motorcycling community who believe this is important, I can't stress the need for individuals and organizations to make contact with their own embassies and consulates, in the area, and alert them about this on going effort. Since the US Embassey is familiar with the issues now, I believe more letters of encouragement would help (Contact Point: Citizens Service Unit, it can be found on their web page). I believe our embassies, who have a working political and legal relationship with Guatemala, can make a difference. Please encourage your representatives to work with their contacts to avert a very sad consequence. Perhaps a joint effort is needed to impress on Guatemala's law makers, while they attack this serious problem, that limited exception and transit permits would not compromise their objectives. Lastly, if the law comes out as a complete ban, it doesn't stop amendments. That is why I am encouraging some brief contact, now.
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  14. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I sent this to the US consulate (AmCitsGuatemala@state.gov):

    I recently became aware of a new law in Guatemala that would ban
    pillion passengers from motorcycles. I hope you can influence the
    Guatemala government so that a tourist/transit permit is available to
    adventure riders. Without some kind of exception, this new law will
    cause hardship to global adventure riders. Can you give me more
    information?


    thanks
    #14
  15. slideways

    slideways España

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    I got an e-mail from my ex who lives in Guat City and she said this about the ban.

    We've been riding the dirt bikes in a rolling protest against the absurd new laws they are trying to enforce here. Only one person on a motorcycle, has to be the owner so the name on the license matches the name on the registration. Rider has to put the placa number on the back of the helmet in large white letters that can be read from 5 meters away and also put them on the back of a green reflective vest. So people are wondering what they are supposed to do if they have more than one moto, buy a separate helmet and vest for each moto? Plus the majority of the lower income families here, like everywhere in the 3rd world, rely on their motorcycle as their only means of transportation, to get the kids to school, to drop the wife at her job before heading to their own. It will be a big hardship for so many.

    Having lived in Latin America for 12 years the police love these new laws it is a great source of income for them as they can mordida everybody they catch. They passed a helmet law when I was living in Cozumel but it only applied to gringos! 200 pesos please.
    #15
  16. karmatourer

    karmatourer STD free

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    Every day here-and always on scooters.I have seen 5 before.
    But I have yet to see more than 2 on a bike.
    #16
  17. karmatourer

    karmatourer STD free

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    I was aware of the periferico but not the other calles.Damn.
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  18. karmatourer

    karmatourer STD free

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    I'd like to hear them say they can't read the white numbers on my white helmet!
    #18
  19. lunachick

    lunachick lurking since 03-01-2003

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    Hi, I'm the aforementioned ex Mrs. Slideways,

    For those of you that read spanish here are links to the actual laws:
    http://www.guateleyes.com/Iniciativas/2009/3971.pdf
    http://www.guateleyes.com/Iniciativas/2009/3972.pdf

    We've been participating in protests organized by different groups, the first one was the Caravana del Zorro group and another by the association of messengers. The protests were peaceful, traffic cops waved us through red lights, crowds along the road shouted "dos en moto" and held up two fingers.

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    #19
  20. lunachick

    lunachick lurking since 03-01-2003

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    This was during the Caravana del Zorro this year.

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    #20