Riding a Motorbike in Goa - Some Tips
If you are thinking of hiring a motorcycle in Goa then the following tips will help you stay safe -
- When riding or driving in Goa ensure you carry a valid national driving licence and remember that the 1949 version of the International Driving permit is also required for driving in India. This is available from the AA or Post Offices in the UK. You should also carry the vehicle’s RTO registration and insurance documents. These will have to be produced if demanded for inspection by the Police.
- After hiring a geared or non-geared motorbike/scooter (known in Goa simply as a bike) ensure that you wear a Goa Traffic Police approved crash helmet while riding on the highways in Goa. The local police and other road transport authorities are particularly fastidious about riders wearing a helmet when on the highways.
- When riding a motorcycle, stay to the extreme left side of the road, as the centre and right hand part of the road is the domain of four-wheel vehicles driven and generally used for overtaking. Be especially careful when turning left at crossroads as vehicles turning right, including Lorries and buses, will likely be in your path on the wrong side of the road.
- Unlearn all you have been taught abroad about overtaking. In Goa, motorists overtake from both the left and right sides without signalling, often making for a highly dangerous situation. Likewise, motorists tend to turn left or right without using their vehicle’s indicators.
- Do not be surprised at the amount of honking/hooting that goes on on Goan roads. It is a noisy way of getting other motorists’ and pedestrians’ attention, so honk as much as necessary, and more, if you please since it is all in the interest of road safety!
- When you wish to turn left or right on the road, raise the appropriate arm and indicate which way you are turning. This is simply because motorists behind you may not see your bike’s indicator (as they are not accustomed to looking for them). You will look silly indicating with your arm but it is better to be safe than sorry!
- Brake lights on most vehicles in Goa are non-functional. Especially watch out for the public transport buses and trucks, which tend to stop in their tracks all of a sudden to pick up passengers from the roadside, pick up goods… or simply to have a chat with a friend!
- When riding your motorbike or scooter at night, be extra careful of oncoming vehicles which may have only one headlight working as it is easy to confuse such a one-eyed bandit for an oncoming bike, little knowing it is something much larger. Be aware it is quite common for riders and drivers to drive without lights at all at night; their rationale being that they know they are there . . . so you will too!
- Top up the fuel tank or your motorbike or car at every petrol station, as if you run out you may have to rely on adulterated fuel that is sold in 1-litre plastic bottles along the roadside, which can lead to breakdowns.
- When riding always watch out for the unexpected - stray Dogs, Cows, Buffaloes, Pigs and Ox carts, humans pushing ice cream carts or riding vastly overloaded pushbikes, scooters or motorcycles.
- Don’t let all the above put you off: riding a scooter or motorbike is the best and the cheapest way to see, smell and hear Goa and with a simple measure of common sense you will enjoy riding in Goa.
For a fantastic, hassle free holiday,
trust Safe Special Services –
you will not be disappointed!