Traffic police in Guanacaste wage war against cyclists on major highways.
Traffic police in Guanacaste wage war against cyclists on major highways.

QCOSTARICA – Although bicycles are not common on the roads around the Central Valley, they are – in many cases the only means of transportation – in places like Guanacaste, especially on highways, despite that riding a bicycle is prohibited on roads with speed limits of 80 km/h and above.

For example, in the area of Liberia, on the Interamericana (ruta 1), bicycles go head-to-head, so to speak, with speeding vehicles. Samein Bagaces and Cañas connected by the Interamericana.

For this, during Semana Santa (Holy Week), the Policia de Transito (traffic police) has taken a zero tolerance policy and taken to confiscating bicycles on the highway.

This has upset many saying there is no clear signage that says they cannot ride a bicycle and claim that the two-wheeler if the major means of transport used in the area.

On the social media, many have commented on the lack of bicycle paths. “Many in our province use this means of transportation to go to and from work and are no a victim of progress (the opening of the new four lane highway). This disadvantages the ordinary citizen.”

However, the director of the traffic police, Mario Calderon, stays firm that his officials are ensuring compliance with the law and that bicycles on highways are a risk both for cyclists and motorists alike.

“The rule law establishes it. Cyclists cannot ride on roads with a minimum speed of 80 km/h. There is an alternate route, lateral to the highway and perfect for cyclists. They do not have to unnecessarily risk their lives,” says Calderon.

“This is a mess. Where are the authorities (…) The legislators of the province (…) If this is the case there should be a bicycle path, since that is the primary means of transportation in the province,” comments Ileana Ugarte, on Facebook.

Olger Guzman write: “If it is true that is the law, there should be common sense. While in other countries they promote cycling, here they are bothers by cyclists. Give us bicycle paths to apply the law.”