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Questions About Driving


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#1 DanB

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:13 AM

We will be spending a couple weeks on the mainland this May.  We will be renting a car and driving between Cancun and Merida.  I have a couple questions about 'rules of the road'.  Is there a 'default' speed limit for driving the main road (what we call highways in Michigan)?  (I'm expecting that I won't see frequently posted speed limit signs on many of the smaller roads.)  Can you turn left on a red light everywhere (both Quintana Roo and Yucatan states)?  Are there any unusual aspects to driving that I should know about?  Can you park on the street?  If the curbs on the street are painted yellow, can you park there?  (I understand that if painted red, the answer is no.)  We will pick up our car at the Cancun airport and drive the cuota to Valladolid.  We will drive in town and between Valladolid and some smaller towns in the area.  We will drive from Valladolid north thru Tizimin to San Felipe/Rio Lagartos.  Then from San Felipe to Tizimin, then west along 176 to Temax, then south on "no-name-road" to Izamal.  Then Izamal south to 180 and west into Merida.  We are parking the car and not driving in Merida.  (I've heard the traffic is more intense than I want to deal with and the bus system is a lot of fun to try.)  Finally, we drive the cuota from Merida back thru Cancun airport to the 307 to Playa del Carmen.  That's where we turn in the car before taking the ferry to Cozumel for the next half of the trip.    Any 'how to drive in Yucatan' advice is welcome.  Thanks.


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#2 mstevens

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:33 AM

Speed limits on the cuota are at least as well-posted as they are around my bit of New Hampshire.

Being permitted to turn left on a red light is very unusual world-wide except in countries where they drive on the left. When I was a kid in Illinois, it was legal to turn left on a red onto a one-way road that ran from the driver's right to the driver's left, but I've never seen that anywhere else.

Right turn on red is permitted. In a few places, straight ahead on red is permitted when the connecting road dead-ends at the intersection rather than going through it or in a few other places. Signs will say "Proceda con Precautión" or "Continua con Precautión".

I haven't seen yellow-painted curbs, but I would not park at them.

In general, driving in Yucatán and Quintana Roo is like driving at home (wherever home may be). Just follow the speed limits and be cautious at intersections.
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#3 KAC

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:58 AM

We travelled over 3000 kms last May through 5 states. The only thing we thought was different was the passing routine on a two lane highway. If you want to pass you signal right, the guy ahead pulls to the half lane to his right, you take the middle and the oncoming traffic move to their right in the half lane.....scarey, but that's what we encountered the whole trip.
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#4 DanB

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:20 PM

Being permitted to turn left on a red light is very unusual world-wide except in countries where they drive on the left. When I was a kid in Illinois, it was legal to turn left on a red onto a one-way road that ran from the driver's right to the driver's left, but I've never seen that anywhere else.

 

Mstevens:  Sorry, I meant to say turn right on red.  (However in Michigan we also allow 'turn left on red if  you are turning  on to a one way going left'.)  I 'google street view' drove from the Cancun airport to the cuota and down the cuota for several miles.  Speed limits were clearly marked there.  I was more concerned about the road from Valladolid north thru Tizimin to San Felipe.  I saw only a couple of speed limit signs and they were different speeds.  I did not see any specific limit numbers as you went thru a small town, nor any 'now you can speed up' signs as you left the small towns.  I suppose the topes will bring you to a complete stop any way.  And I didn't see anything on the 'no-name' road from Temax to Izamal.  Ah well, I guess I have to keep a few 20's around just in case my understanding of the process differs from any constable I encounter along the way.


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#5 AndreasMontoya

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:13 AM

You need two things to drive here, an accelerator and a horn. If you drive slower than 90 kph you will have people hugging your bumper or passing you on the right while you are being passed on the left. If you are going to turn left off of a highway, do not put on your left blinker. This is telling the car behind you that it is clear to pass you and you will be T boned. Other than that, it's all the same except these people are crazy when they get behind the wheel.


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#6 DanB

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 06:46 AM

Just to complete the post:  We rented a car from Cancun Airport (easyway rental).  Drove the toll road to Valladolid.  Drove some of the roads around Valladolid.  Drove north to Ek Balam, Tizimin, San Felipe/Rio Lagartos.  Drove Tizimin west to Izamal and then to Merida.  Parked the car in Merida and did not drive there.  Drove from Merida to Playa to catch the ferry to Cozumel amd dropped the car off in Playa.  The roads were great (better than those in Michigan most of the time).  The signage was very good and very clear. Even on the non-toll roard the speed limit was frequently 110.   As always, watch for TOPES.  I'm glad we did the car rather than the bus.  It gave us much more freedom of movement when we wanted.


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#7 mstevens

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:54 PM

You need two things to drive here, an accelerator and a horn.

 

LOL!

 

Just to complete the post:  We rented a car from Cancun Airport (easyway rental).  Drove the toll road to Valladolid.  Drove some of the roads around Valladolid.  Drove north to Ek Balam, Tizimin, San Felipe/Rio Lagartos.  Drove Tizimin west to Izamal and then to Merida.  Parked the car in Merida and did not drive there.  Drove from Merida to Playa to catch the ferry to Cozumel amd dropped the car off in Playa.  The roads were great (better than those in Michigan most of the time).  The signage was very good and very clear. Even on the non-toll roard the speed limit was frequently 110.   As always, watch for TOPES.  I'm glad we did the car rather than the bus.  It gave us much more freedom of movement when we wanted.

 

Glad it went well. My experience is that roads in the area are better than around my home in the US and signs are very good, just as you say.


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