This post is part of the series Red Tape and Boneheads. Despite beautiful landscapes, the hospitality of strangers, adventures and great riding, an overland traveler also has the privilege to experience the different forms and varieties of red tape that bureaucrats and boneheads have crafted throughout the world. This is what this series is about. Enjoy and have a laugh (thats usually the only thing you can do about it anyway).
One of our favorite (as in super stupid) rules is about lights. Most countries either appreciate or enforce having the light on a bike during the day. This makes sense since a bike is easily overlooked and many accidents result from cars simply not seeing a bike and pulling out in front of it. Laos and Cambodia think differently however. Light during the day is not permitted and will be fined. It’s only allowed for police vehicles. Makes sense? No. But a rule is a rule. We couldn’t turn off the lights on our bikes as they were permanently on. It’s a safety feature so you can’t forget to turn them on. This does not and will not fly with Cambodian or Laos officials. So we taped paper on the lamp masks during our visit to Laos and Cambodia.
This paragraph is taken out of our book Buying and Riding a Motorcycle in South East Asia