One of the things you will notice in the Dominican Republic is that there are motorcycles everywhere. Mainly small ones…but every imaginable type and vintage with lots of scooter type vehicles. They buzz about chaotically with few rules seeming to apply.
Red lights are meaningless. They often go as fast as their throttle allows and clearly pedestrians don’t matter. They beep incessantly. Often there are two riders, quite commonly three and for families sometimes four. They are used as transport vehicles as many don’t have easy access to cars or trucks. There are many styles of riding. Some like to hang a leg off, others hunch down to reduce wind resistance and others like to talk on the phone. Passengers sometimes ride side saddle.The passengers typically don’t appear to hang on to the driver and often hold things such as children in their arms. Of course that makes me quite nervous.
Today I saw one passenger holding an entire car door (bigger than the motorcycle), another with a large 2×12 x 10 piece of hardwood and another with a huge sack of rice. I recently saw a driver with a half dozen dead chicken tied together and hanging from his seat. One thing seen very infrequently is a helmet. They have helmets, they just don’t wear them. They carry them in their arms on occasion but rarely wear them.
One thing that struck me as funny today is that the vast majority of cyclists are wearing a facemask due to the virus…but not helmets. If you do some quick research you will find that there are many road fatalities here…high ranking in the world. I do not know for sure but I would bet helmets play into that. Another funny note…I have noticed that most people here are wearing facemasks but often lower them when talking to each other….