Travelers should take extra precautions if contemplating renting a scooter or motorcycle in Oaxaca. Bombing around downtown Oaxaca or on the nearby highways is very different from renting a motorbike in Cancun, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Escondido and other beach resorts. It’s much more dangerous, so be forewarned and make sure you exercise added caution if you’re a novice or lack a great deal of experience, yet still insist on renting. Riders have been killed or permanently to a wheelchairs … and these were experienced, Oaxacan cyclists.

In Oaxaca, the rules of the road are different, and in any event are not enforced very often; at many intersections there are no traffic lights or stop or yield signs, so you just have to know; frequently traffic lights don’t work (especially during rainy season); it appears to that most motorists are uninsured (insurance is optional in the state); and, impaired driving is a much greater problem there than in the United States or Canada.

While penal reform now exists in Oaxaca, its implementation is proceeding very slowly, and here in the city the populace is still subject, to a certain extent, to a Napoleonic/inquisitorial regime … meaning that if you get in an accident and someone is injured, even if you believe it’s not your fault, you could end up incarcerated, if only for a brief period of time. So be careful.