Rules for Motorcyclists in Fiji

Repeated examples confirm these "rules" as valid hypotheses.  

Here is what I have learnt so far.  
(List to be updated periodically as I learn).
Rule number ONE
NEVER be quick away at the lights if you are first in the queue at the intersection.  Repeat: Never.  Ignore the impatient beeping behind you (which will start a microsecond before the lights turn green!). There is always, repeat: ALWAYS a jerk-off who will run the red from your right or left.  This is not just a last minute "the-lights-were-amber-as-I-arrived-but-then-turned-red" scenario, this is the desperate "I-am-in- a-movie-with-killers -with-automatic-weapons -after-me. My-only-hope-is-to- rush-at-the-intersection-before- the-container-truck-blocks-it" scene.  You are the poor clot on the motorcycle who comes off spectacularly over a car bonnet in front of the imaginary movie camera.  Reject the script. Wait a tic after the lights change.  Always.

Rule number TWO

Do not follow too closely behind taxis and buses, and be careful passing them when they are parked. They regard the road as exclusively their own, and other drivers as mere inconvenient interlopers. They will stop or suddenly change direction at any time, anywhere, including the middle of the road, the wrong side of the road or intersection, or any place where such action is stupid, dangerous, or illegal.  At any time they will turn right from a left turn only lane, or left from a right turn only lane, just to pick up passengers, to get ahead, or for no apparent reason at all.  

Rule number THREE
Do not split lanes or jump queues.  Better to wait and live.  Fijian drivers are very territorial and regard any advantage they may have as their own to defend, and defend it they will, using their vehicle as a weapon.   

Rule number FOUR 
Be territorial.  Claim a car sized space around the bike as yours. Insist on your own moving area of territory.   This means do not ride to the left or to the right of the lane except when dodging potholes and dogs.  Claim the whole width of your lane and defend it. Veer a bit from one side to the other. Pretend you are dodging potholes if you have to.  Normally you won’t have to pretend.   Beep anyone who invades your space on either side of you, and make threatening gestures.  If you do not, some car will force you off the road, or into the oncoming traffic, or cut you off when he sees a fare signalling on the side of the road. 

Rule number FIVE
If someone wants to pass you, let them.  Otherwise they will do something stupid in a place that is bad for you.

Rule number SIX
It is not just the taxis and buses which are dangerous, but there are more of them.  
Rule number SEVEN
Use your mirrors. 


About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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3 Responses to Rules for Motorcyclists in Fiji

  1. Pingback: Flashback and Update: Ten Rules for Motorcyclists in Fiji | Hodophilia

  2. Alan R says:

    Underseal. I like that.


  3. Glenn says:

    The technical term for motorcyclists,cyclist and pedestrians who get between a taxi ad its fare(no,not a taxi-driver,they are at the command of the taxi.)is under-seal.


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