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Suspending habitual traffic violators

Road Sense

Updated

030620roadsense1

How many traffic violations are enough to get a driver suspended, or not allowed to drive?

In the case of drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) who can endanger the lives and limbs of commuters and pedestrians if they are habitual violators of traffic regulations, do we need the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to recommend to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the driver’s licenses of the habitual traffic violators?

Early this week, the MMDA announced that bus drivers with multiple traffic violations will no longer be allowed to ply the roads of the metropolis starting March 9.

The statement was made by MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, who said this was what was agreed after a meeting with city bus operators and representatives from the LTO, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The MMDA had earlier recommended to the LTO not to allow 2,500 PUV drivers with multiple traffic violations to drive PUVs. Most of the 2,500 violators are drivers of public buses.

I thought that our transportation law has specific standards that would keep habitual traffic violators from driving motor vehicles, especially public buses which are larger than private vehicles, and thus, can do much damage to life, limb and property.

According to the MMDA general manager, a representative from LTO will be at the MMDA Bus Management Dispatch offices to screen city bus drivers.  “They will not be dispatched if they are included in the list of habitual violators.  Their driver’s license will be confiscated by LTO as MMDA is not allowed to do so.”

Garcia said MMDA will make sure that erring drivers will be penalized as they pose peril to the riding public.

“We are serious about this matter. It’s about time to suspend erring drivers with alarming number of apprehensions,” he said.

In February, the MMDA recorded 12,000 traffic violators; 2,500 of them were PUV drivers. The violations were recorded along EDSA, C-5, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon Avenue and other major roads where MMDA enforcers are deployed.

According to Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines, related to the suspension of a license: “Whenever during any twelve-month period a driver shall have been convicted at least three times for the violations of any provisions of this Act or of any regulations issued by the Director or any municipal or city ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic not in conflict with any of the provisions of this Act, the Director may revoke or suspend the license of such driver for a period not exceeding two years.”

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Meet the Citimuber

There’s a new motorcycle-for-hire company that is preparing to join the move to get the working class moving safely and more efficiently. It’s called the Citimover and it was organized in 2017 by Rommel Villaroman.

Villaroman said they had hoped to join the second pilot run when it was opened to additional players last December. “We were not given the opportunity then, but we appreciated the feedback from the Technical Working Group so we could further improve our operations. We believe this will help us emerge stronger by taking the necessary steps to make sure we will be ready to go full-blast once the law is passed.”

Citimuber has set up a 1,600-sqm training facility in Caloocan City, where safety riding seminars and rider skills assessments are held. Since they opened the center last December, they average about 60 riders a day. The center can accommodate up to 300 riders per day once operations are in full swing.

The app is designed to have accurate location tracking. To ensure the safety of both riders and bookers, there are designated areas where no bookings are accepted because of dangerous conditions, such as high-crime locations.

Both the rider and booker have a panic button that is automatically enabled once the ride starts. The panic button can be activated to send an emergency call or SMS, either to a police number or to immediate relatives.

Villaroman said that when motorcycle taxis are legalized, Citimuber is ready to offer their services in compliance with all the regulations and guidelines mandated by law. He said they have about 10,000 riders already enrolled.

By Pinky Concha Colmenares

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