Anyone who reads this blog knows of my loathing for motorcycle taxis. Yesterday morning, just across the street from our school, one of these cretins rear ended a BMW.
First, let me try to explain motorcycle licensing in this city. Gasoline powered motorcycles are “banned”, or at least they are supposed to be getting phased out. I am assuming this is an effort of sorts to control air pollution. License plates are no longer issued to gasoline powered motorcycles.
About four years ago the police began an enforcement program. They set up roadblocks and confiscated any gas powered bike without a license plate. A person could then pay an exorbitant fine to get their bike back. They would wait until enforcement became lax, then start driving them again. A few months later roadblocks would go up, and bikes would be confiscated again. People started buying electric motorbikes, which didn’t require license plates, and the police sold off their massive stash of illegal bikes to someone in a more Libertarian locale.
As the gas powered bikes get older and break down, soon there will be no more, right? Nope. There are more gas powered bikes on the road now than there were a year ago. There is a shop just down the street that sells them. Where do the licenses come from? It depends on who you know, and how much cash you have. Some plates come from “sympathetic” people of influence, but there is a booming little business in producing bogus plates. Discerning bogus plates is a more work intensive task for the local gendarmes, who generally have lower fruit to pick, thus the increase in illegal bikes.
So back to the BMW!!! The two vehicles stopped right where the collision occurred. This is the one law that is followed in this city! You wait for the cops to show and determine who is at fault. It doesn’t matter how much traffic is snarled, vehicles must remain in place until the police have done their thing. In the case of the BMW, they had been waiting about 20 minutes when we went inside, and no cops had arrived. There is a police station just around the corner, about half a block away, but traffic is bad that time of day.
There are two major sources of traffic jams here. The first is caused by bad intersections. The second from accidents waiting for the cops to arrive. Add in the bad drivers and Libertarian traffic enforcement and you get some fun drivin’!
Anyway, back to BMW!!!!!!!!! The motorcycle that rear ended the BMW was new, and had a license place that was attached by a bolt and a very oversized washer which mostly obscured the plate. This is a pretty strong indicator of a bogus plate. The bike’s owner fled the scene, abandoning his illegal bike,
What about the poor BMW owner? Closer inspection of the damage by our rubbernecking selves showed not a scratch to the car, and only a broken mirror on the bike. This is also a common occurrence. Vehicles will stop traffic for extended amounts of time, even though there is no damage, just to show who is in the right/wrong. There will always be a settlement. Money will exchange hands. Justice will be served. In the case of the BMW, somebody got a new motorbike.