Clean vs. dirty riders

EDITORIAL

DUMAGUETE CITY – The launching four days ago of the Clean Rider campaign in order to get rid of the “dirty riders” was met with both skepticism and good intentions.

The purpose of this campaign is to give the police a clear picture of the motorcycle population and ownership profiles all over the city and province. Like cars, the goal is to profile all motorcycles and their owners so that in cases of crimes and accidents, it will be easy to identify those involved. The absent owner could possibly become the person of interest.

Here is where the skepticism kicks in. Reality- wise, you are talking of 30,000 motorcycles in Dumaguete and easily 50,000 all over Negros. The motorcycle population here is so huge that branded repossessed motorbikes are the ones being patronized by most locals in the rural areas because these bikes can be used as convenient and affordable means of transportation. Given the sheer number of motorbikes on the road, it has really posed a threat to other motorists because bikers can easily overtake on both sides.

Which brings us to the issue whether or not these bikes are legally registered or if these motorcycles are used as vehicles for the commission of all kinds of crimes especially illegal drug trade, illegal gambling trade, and carnapping.

This is why the Clean Rider campaign was launched by the police and the LTO. This has been put in place in order to minimize, if not, curb the use of motorcycles in illegal trade and other crimes.

So is the Clean Rider campaign an effective tool to get rid of “dirty riders” who use motorcycles wantonly as a means to commit notorious and nefarious activities which tend to endanger the lives of our people?

Is it also possible to tap the “big bikers” who could be deputized by government to go after road-rules violators? These bikers drive around for leisure with their oversized motorbikes touring the province. If government will only give them deputation and a means for radio communication, these volunteers can be an asset as guardians of the road for good.

Finally, it is a joint responsibility for the private owners to secure a Clean Rider sticker and the yellow counter-checker for Dumaguete-based motorbikers. They should now put a super-lock on their motorbikes so as not to be carnapped . The police should also be strict but fair at the check points because the landscape has just changed. Check points are now the target of suicide bombers as what happened in Lanao earlier last week.