Since riding a bike is a very common form of commute in Goa, it is important to know the safety rules, so you don’t get in trouble and ruin your entire trip. If you’re planning a trip to Goa, you will most likely be riding a two wheeler at some point. It is important to understand these rules not only to protect yourself from cops and avoid heavy fines, but also for the safety of your own lives. Besides, nobody should have to pay a heavy price for our carelessness.
A road accident is the most unwanted thing to happen on a holiday. They happen quite often, even though we want to believe it won’t happen to us. Most people are well aware of the general rules and safety measures of the roads, but it’s only the laxity of a few which causes accidents and crashes. Some accidents can happen due to human errors, but most accidents could have easily been avoided, if road safety rules were being followed.
So, here are some road safety rules in Goa that you must follow, when you go for a spin on a motorcycle in Goa.
Make Sure You Got All the Right Documents
Please ensure that you carry a valid driving license. You should also carry the vehicle’s RTO registration and insurance documents. You may just be pulled up for inspection by the police as they have an eye for spotting a tourist. Make sure not to leave behind these documents as you are required by law to present them, when you’re stopped by a traffic police. If you’re thinking about renting out a bike in Goa, you would still need to have documents. The vendor might keep your original document such as your Pan card or Aadhar card as a sense of security that you would return the motorbike in good shape.
Wearing a Proper Helmet
Helmets are absolutely compulsory while riding in Goa. Especially, if you’re going to take a route that involves the highway. The local police and other road transport authorities are slightly over-particular about riders wearing the right kind of helmet as well, so make sure you’re not starting your bike on the wrong foot by leaving your helmet behind. This is for your own safety and if you’re not wearing one, you can be penalized for it.
Don’t Ride on the Wrong Side
Always ride on the left side of the road even on smaller roads like those that run through villages. When riding on a highway, stay to the extreme left side of the road, as the centre and right hand side of the road is used by the bigger vehicles and generally used for overtaking. As Goa doesn’t have Uber or Ola facilities, there would be lesser private cars. However, don’t assume that there would always be open roads. You will be sure to come across many buses or bigger trucks on the road, so staying in your lane is still important. When you’re at a crossroad, it can be tricky so make sure you take a minute to safely make your turn.
Overtaking is Dangerous
There is no rule set in stone on how to successfully overtake a vehicle in Goa. In Goa, people overtake from either the left or right side without signalling or using indicators, often making it a highly dangerous situation. So, it’s better to stay at a steady speed, ride straight and avoid overtaking anyone in general, unless really needed. Goa roads have sharp turns, so avoid overtaking at turns. Only overtake when the road is free and there are no vehicles coming in from the opposite direction. If you’re caught being unnecessarily reckless, you could be fined for rash riding.
Don’t be Afraid to Honk if You Have to
When you’re not getting the attention of vehicles or passersby on a cycle who are in the way, you can’t help but honk. If you’re going to be passing a busy street, do not hesitate to honk so you can make your way and alert those on the road. Honking in such cases is in the interest of your safety. However, you should be mindful of your surroundings and not overdo it.
Use Indicators When Needed
Your indicator may be working perfectly fine, but you can’t always say the same for the person in front of you. You may come across people raising their arms to indicate where they are turning. So watch out for such signs of the road. Before you rent out your scooter/motorcycle, ensure that your headlights, taillights, horn and everything else is functional. If you’re in a situation where your indicators stop, you may have to opt for using your arm strength to raise the correct arm for the turn you are taking. People do understand these hand gestures, so it’s a different way of staying safe.
Keep a Safe Distance From Vehicles Ahead of You
Just like the indicators case, you may notice many vehicles on the road with a brake light that’s not functioning at all. As they say it’s better to be safe than sorry. So we’d advise maintaining a good distance from the vehicle ahead and don’t ride too fast. You may also have to apply this to animals on the road. Goa has lots of green areas, so be careful of stray dogs, cows and buffaloes too while you’re on the road, as they might pop up out of nowhere at times. Which is why not riding too fast helps prepare yourself to hit the brakes out of nowhere.
K(Night) Rider Safety
If you’re not used to riding at night, we’d say it’s probably best to skip a night road trip, especially if you’re not familiar with Goa roads. You don’t just have to be extra careful of oncoming vehicles. But if streetlights are not in their best condition, you are putting yourself at risk, since you’re not sure what lies ahead of you. Most people also use a high beam headlight and it can really hit your eyes from an oncoming vehicle. So ride slowly and move to the side of the road if you’re blinded by the lights.
Do Not Drink and Ride
Lastly, the most common rule which people hear a thousand times and is still ignored. Most accidents in Goa happen because of a drink and drive case. Goa is known for partying and having fun and it’s alright to party and have fun. If you can’t avoid drinking, just avoid riding. When you’re drinking, maybe find a place to crash and spend the night or ask someone who isn’t drinking to drop you back. The cops are really strict when it comes to drinking and riding and it’s best if you avoid it.
These are tips and laws which not only safeguard you, but also others on the road. It also helps you stay more alert on the road. Motorbikes are actually the best and cheapest way to vibe with all those gorgeous surroundings that Goa offers. And if you consider all of these safety points, we guarantee that you will have an amazing experience and good memories to take back.
See also: Exploring South Goa On A Bike