Of 42,159 motorcycles, only 28k licensed drivers

HUNDREDS OF TRAFFIC VIOLATORS own these mostly unclaimed impounded motorbikes. They say it is cheaper to pay down payments for a brand new motorbike than pay expensive fines ranging from P2,000 to P10,000 per violation. An ordinance should provide for public auction for unclaimed impounded motorbikes.

SO WHO DRIVES THE REST?

There may be 42,159 motorcycles plying the streets and appear to have been registered with the Land Transportation Office LTO, but sadly only 28,546 humans are driving these motorbikes with legitimate licenses from the LTO. The rest are on their own as illegal drivers.

Thus, the government appears to be lacking in implementing traffic regulations and imposing the registration of vehicles and arresting those without driver’s licenses in view of the huge disparity between the number of traffic enforcers vis a vis the number of violators.

But despite this handicap, the city government here has collected about P6.4 million in fines for traffic violations, after penalizing some 24,853 people for road obstructions and other violations within the period of 18 months from Feb 2018 to August 2019.

The  city public information officer, reported Tuesday that the amount was collected from February 2018 to August this year

HIGHWAY PATROL

The provincial team of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) here believes that thousands of motorcycles in Dumaguete City and other parts of Negros Oriental are “unregistered”.

While being tagged as the motorcycle capital of the country, Dumaguete and its neighboring municipalities have a total of 42,159 total registered motorcycles, while 2,940 account for tricycles, compared to 67,000 registered four-wheel vehicles in the entire coverage area of the Land Transportation Office in the city, the Provincial Highway Patrol Team (PHPT) of the HPG disclosed during a press conference Monday.

It is for this reason that law enforcers are concentrating their efforts on the implementation of laws including those of the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines in this capital city.

MASSIVE “DAKUPS”

In Dumaguete alone, about 12,664 citation tickets were issued  by TMO  for various offenses — 9,484 for illegal parking; 557 for various types of road obstructions; 1,556 for parking on the sidewalk; 198 vehicles were impounded for lack of registration papers or driver’s license; 529 for disregarding traffic signs; and 340 for violating the smoke-free ordinance.

Meanwhile, from January to August this year, 12,189 citation tickets were issued — 3,275 for illegal parking; 1,324 for various types of road obstructions; 3,956 for parking on the sidewalk; 1,412 for littering, jaywalking, illegal vending, etc.; 302 vehicles were impounded for lack of registration papers or driver’s license; 1,805 for disregarding traffic signs; and 115 for violating the smoke-free ordinance.

These road infractions have earned the City Government some P6.4Million in one year. —from citations and fines for traffic violation,

Police Senior Master Sergeant Aurelio Bodo, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Highway Patrol Team,  showed that from January to August this year, a total of 2,375 traffic accidents happened all over the province, but 717 of them were in Dumaguete, representing around 30 percent of the total number.

Records further showed that 11.70 percent of deaths from road accidents were also recorded in this city, all of them involving people driving motorcycles without protective headgears or helmets.

From Sept. 9 to Sept. 17, 2019 alone, the Highway Patrol Team issued 384 temporary operators permits (TOPs) in Dumaguete, confiscated 292 driver’s licenses, and impounded 87 motorcycles and five motor vehicles for various violations.

Of the 384 that were issued TOPs, violations included 251 who did not have helmets, 86 with no driver’s license, 75 for failure to carry the official receipt and certificate of registration, 34 unregistered motor vehicles, 27 unauthorized or defective accessories, 31 with no seatbelts, 12 for reckless driving, nine for unauthorized modification, six for improper display of plates, overloading and arrogant driver.

HELMET QUALITY

Police Senior Master Sergeant Aurelio Bodo, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Highway Patrol Team, Bodo stressed that for now, HPT is not strict yet on the quality of the helmets used by motorists but they will have to enforce what is mandated by the law that helmets should have an Import Commodity Clearance mark.

ROAD ACCIDENTS

Records from the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office reveal that of the 2, 375 traffic accidents from January to August 2019, 717 incidents or 30% occurred in Dumaguete City. This translate to almost 90 traffic incidents in one month alone.

However, of the 717 traffic accidents recorded in the Dumaguete City Police Station in the first 8 months of 2019, only 11 resulted in deaths; 248 in physical injuries and 458 resulting to damage to property.

Again the authorities warn that driving without or expired license will incur P 3, 000 in penalty; unregistered motorcycle, P 10,000; a uniform penalty of P 5, 000 shall be imposed for motorcycles with no signal light, no tail light, no head lights, no side mirror, no horns and defective brakes; improvised or unauthorized mufflers, P 5, 000; no helmet, P 1, 500 and dirty or not attached plate number, P 5, 000.(With reports by CITY PIO and PNA)