THE EDITOR: In response to letters published in the print media and posts on social media, specifically an article by Noel Kalicharan titled “Enforce ‘no bicycles’ on all the highways” (Newsday, November 23) I could not help but think and consider what exactly is the law with regard to cyclists on the highway. But before I move on let’s put into context classification of a highway and a cyclist.
As defined by the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act 48:50, the highway means “the whole or part of any road, thoroughfare, street, trail, trace or way maintainable at the public expense and dedicated to the public use whether by way of expressed or implied grant... and includes bridges, footpaths, culverts, sidewalks and adjoining reserves accessory to a highway.”
Having cleared that up, I’d like to indicate what the law defines as a vehicle. Again in accordance with the said act 48:50, “...vehicle includes tramcars, carriages, wagons, carts, motor vehicles, hand carts, barrows, sledges, trucks and all other machines for the portage of goods and persons.” Therefore bicycles are vehicles and as such cyclists are subject to the same conditions of use of all roadways including the following of traffic signs and signals, summarily making themselves subject to the same fines and penalties if violated or infringed.
That being said it seems that much misinformation being disseminated through the media of all forms need to be clarified for the good of the motoring and general public in light of the tragic occurrence on November 10 that resulted in the death of two cyclists.
It would seem, when considering the law, cyclists are entitled to use any road that exists true to form, and that is indisputable. The fact that Kalicharan hasn’t seen many cyclist on the north-south highway is as a result of cyclists using their discretion to not traverse that course because of our poor driving habits and tendencies which can seriously jeopardise their safety and lives, and a lack of adequate policing, legislation and supporting infrastructure to ensure we all can safely use the roads to our varied benefits.
So to counter his argument, the signs contravene the existing laws and must be removed or changed to reflect the law and thus the motoring public can have a better understanding as to how we can share the road with other users safely in accordance with the law.
Yes, it is true that changes are needed to legislation and supporting infrastructure to ensure this as said before. But until this comes to pass let us all try to be our brother’s keeper and understand we all have equal rights to the use of the road and thus should be taken with the highest and utmost regard.
RAVI MARAJ via e-mail