So you go to the LTO (Land Transportation Office) to renew your vehicle’s registration. You’re told you’ll have to pay a fine first before you can do so. Why? Most likely you were caught by cameras of MMDA’s No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy. And then you remember that one time that you might have run a red light. But there weren’t any enforcers around, that’s why you stepped on it, right? How do they go about apprehending erring motorists, then? Here’s what you need to know about it.
- What is the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy?
- Simply, it’s the MMDA’s way of keeping an eye on traffic law violators by way of CCTVs spread across different areas in Metro Manila. Literally, they are watching you.
- Who can (and will) be apprehended
- All law violators who are caught by the CCTVs will be subject to No Contact Traffic Apprehension. They will gather the vehicle’s and its owner’s details based on the footage and that’s how they will proceed with the “apprehension”.
- How will the MMDA gather vehicle and owner/driver information?
- In coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the MMDA will search for the important details using the Information Query Facility of LTO. This provides the needed information, but can also pose some problems. We’ll get to that later.
- How will you know if I have been apprehended?
- The erring private vehicle owner/motorist will be notified via registered mail sent through PhilPost. For those driving public utility vehicles (PUVs), their company’s liaison will be informed and can then pick up the summons from the MMDA’s Records Division.
- What if the registered information between vehicle and owner does not match?
- There are two scenarios where this commonly applies. If the driver at the time of the apprehension is not the vehicle owner, documentation must then be provided as to who was behind the wheel. If it’s a personal/company driver, that will be easy. But what if the car has been sold and now has a new owner? The previously-registered owner must proceed to the No-Contact Office at the MMDA main building, Makati City, and show a notarized Deed of Sale as evidence, as well the name and address of the current owner to avoid being penalized.
- What if the individual being apprehended refuses to receive the Summons and wants to contest it?
- Without the submission of a valid reason in writing, it will be considered as the violator’s acceptance, and the apprehension and subsequent penalty shall follow. The apprehended individual also has 7 days from the receipt of the Summons to file a protest before the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division (TAD). Not meeting the 7-day period will also be deemed as acceptance and as the violator’s waiving of their right to contest. Within 15 days of reaching a resolution, a Motion for Reconsideration may be filed. Should the appeal be denied, an appeal may be filed within the next 30 days. The following decision will be final and executory.
- How long do you have to settle a violation?
- Unless an appeal is filed, the settlement/payment of fines and penalties must be done within 7 days of receipt of the first Summon.
- Where can you pay the fines?
- Those who need to pay have a lot of options. Payments can be made at the MMDA Main Office, SM Bills Payment, LBC, and other accredited Bayad Centers nationwide
- What happens if you don’t pay the fines and/or penalties?
- In the case that no settlement/payment has been made by the apprehended motorist, the vehicle’s license plate will be included in an Alarm List. Vehicles with an Accompanying Alarm status are given to the LTO and will not be allowed to have their registrations renewed until such time that payment has been made.
Ignorance of the law is never synonymous with an exception. And just because no one is watching, doesn’t mean you’ll go and do the wrong thing. Big Brother is watching. Actually, the MMDA is watching. Before you even think about breaking the law, remember that in this case, the consequences will never justify the risk.