Motoconchos!

DogsRule

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Apr 14, 2004
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Do the nitwits that drive these things have any licensing requirements?! I have been driving for over 30 years with a spotless record, and in 7 months I have nearly wiped out 2 of these nuts! It's all well and good to laugh (because it's better than crying) and shake your head in bewilderment at these fools who pass on the right, cut you off, take red lights as a suggestion if they even consider them at all, drive headlong at you on the wrong side of the road, drive at night with no lights, etc. etc. etc., but when you nearly kill a human being--no matter how stupid he is--it is not funny. It is nearly impossible to make a turn at any major intersection, such as the corner of Kunhart and the North Coast Highway, because even if the light is working (rarely!) motoconcho drivers (and I use the term loosely) apparently feel those traffic signals do not apply to them! (Taxi drivers come in a close second!) I suppose because these guys have no money to speak of the policia look the other way. I live in dread of the day I forget to check my side mirror before making a signalled right hand turn and have to live the rest of my life with the knowledge that I killed another person.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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The situation will not change until AMET decides to pay attention to this problem, rather than just stand around at gringo locations, looking for seatbelts. The fines levied for not wearing seatbelts are obviously more attractive than public safety.
They could clean the motoconcho problem up in one week flat, if they wanted to.
It's as simple as that.
 

Mirador

On Permanent Vacation!
Apr 15, 2004
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Here are some official stats (Oficina T?cnica de Transporte Terrestre -OTTT) (pronounced: oh-teh,teh,teh)

There are 2 million motorcycles on the road, of which about 620.000 are dedicated to the public transportation known as ?motoconcho?. Since there?re about 2 drivers for each motoconcho, then about 1.240.000 people depend directly on this activity for their livelihood.

Motoconcho is the main mode of transportation in every city, town, and rural community, except Santo Domingo.

Listin Diario
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
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Sounds like things have not changed much. Can't count the number of accidents I saw involving motorcycles (almost always the cycles' fault) during my four yrs in the DR, and how many near-misses I myself experienced. :ermm:

When I moved out of SD in 1999, they were just beginning to enforce in earnest the requirement to wear a helmet, to have proper lighting on motorcycles and for the cycles to be licensed. I know that such enforcement campaigns tend to be short-term (often weeks at most) if they are not major revenue generators. Has the police abandoned motorcycle enforcement altogether, or do they still do brief enforcement shows that change little?
 

Bok

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Mar 13, 2004
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Motoconchos

I thought "MuerteProntos" was the correct term for these things.
Makes more sense too.

What's even worse is when these guys make their way up the ladder and become taxi drivers in a banged up car held together by duct tape. No brakes, no wind shields, no lights whatsoever. They still drive the same way they did on their banged up moped but now YOU might be the one on the receiving end in an accident.

Does the government know how much money lies here? Start fining all, and I mean ALL, traffic violations. Say 500 pesos for minor incidents. If violators cannot pay, confiscate their vehicle and sell it on auction. A cop would make up his monthly salary in a day! There would actually be enough for a raise and the 'tax collecting' could go down.
Maybe then the streets would be a little safer for all, with people actually following the traffic law or most of the bad seeds off the road.

Yeah right! Dream on, I know, but I like this dream :sleep:
 

J D Sauser

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Nov 20, 2004
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Bok said:
... Say 500 pesos for minor incidents. If violators cannot pay, confiscate their vehicle and sell it on auction...
Most motoconcho hell drivers usually don't actually OWN the thing... they go pick it up at a rental operation in the morning... So, the driver would not be hurt substancially by a confiscation. Still, confication may be a solution for missing lights, breaks and such.

On a side note: I once hired the service of a motoconcho and asked the driver how much for A to B... 20 Pesos... I told him I'd double that if he'd somhow managed to get us to B alife... He almost fell off the dern thing laughing... Well, we got there alife (as you can tell) and he still honored the initial 20 Pesos. ;)

... J-D.
 
A

apostropheman

Guest
Rocky said:
I believe the correct term is "Motoco?os".
my favorite DR spanish word...and not the moto part! At first I thought it was a term of endearment...like papi :eek:
 

Jerry K

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Jan 1, 2002
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motoconchos

Granted they provide a service but many times while dodging them I've wished I had an old pickup with boards for bumpers that could stand a few more dents.
 

bienamor

Kansas redneck an proud of it
Apr 23, 2004
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I just wish

Jerry K said:
Granted they provide a service but many times while dodging them I've wished I had an old pickup with boards for bumpers that could stand a few more dents.

I just wish they would stay off the sidewalks. Really hate it when they use the sidewalk instead of the road, and expect the pedestrians to move out of their way! I don't any more. make them run over me or move over, but I'm not stepping aside anymore.
 

Mirador

On Permanent Vacation!
Apr 15, 2004
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bienamor said:
I just wish they would stay off the sidewalks. Really hate it when they use the sidewalk instead of the road, and expect the pedestrians to move out of their way! I don't any more. make them run over me or move over, but I'm not stepping aside anymore.
Not trying to be an apologist for caos, but we should all stop bitching about motoconchos. The motoconcho problem is not a technical issue. Out of about 2.500.000 motor vehicles in the DR, 2.000.000 are motorcycle. That's four out of five. And those of you who are familiar with our political system (clientelism) should understand what this means. Motoconcho drivers and their customers represent enough votes to sway an election.
 

DunHill

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Aug 29, 2003
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JDJones said:
for a number of reasons, I have to defend them a little bit here.
In my travels around Santo Domingo, I have seen them on many occasions stopping and confiscating motorcycles.
Both AMET and the policia national stop and confiscate motorcycles on the corner next to my house, at least once a week.
Theres just way too many of them to make a dent..
Thats not confiscating, thats just the only secure thing that they can do so the motoconjo pays the fine for not having a helmet and/or papers, within days they are on the road again and the game starts as usual.

Amet is just interested in collecting motorbikes when the need for money is there, else the don't do a thing ....
Same with the stupid seatbelt checkup at the trafficlights.
Drunks as a skunk is not important and they don't care you are the most dangerous driver on the road in a car that has more ductape than original parts, just the seatbelt is important, and for the driver only, and if the belt actually works is also not of their concern.

Sorry, that green is just buck-green, and has nothing to do with safety, or to "serve and protect".

For the weekends we use an oldtimer BMW 2002 cabrio, that has only a seatbelt for your hips, it is just fun to see how many amet, with dollarsigns in their eyes, can jump in front of the car and try to stop you, and than see their faces that you actually wear a seatbelt.