Warning: Morbid – EDSA Bus Lane is NOT for private vehicles, motorcycles

Time and again, warnings and reminders have been given by the MMDA for private vehicles and motorcycles to stay out of the EDSA Bus Lane. In case reality escapes us, there is a real danger in doing so. To violate this law already makes for a non-traffic-law-abiding citizen, and in this case, two figured in an accident that resulted in one losing his life.

EDSA Bus Lane is exclusive to buses for a reason, please take heed

Edsa Bus Lane Accident Mmda Warning Inline 01 Min

Photo: MMDA

Just yesterday, an SUV and motorcycle were involved in a hit-and-run accident along the EDSA-Shaw Boulevard tunnel portion of the exclusive bus lane. The latter was rear-ended and was, unfortunately, ran over by a tanker that was traversing the middle lane of the tunnel. It cost the motorcyclist his life.

“It is with profound sadness that this incident happened. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the rider. We pray for their comfort in this difficult time,” said MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes, during a press briefing in the MMDA Head Office in Pasig City today.

Edsa Bus Lane Accident Mmda Warning Inline 02 Min

Photo: MMDA

As it stands, it seems that the MMDA has already gathered information on the white SUV that hit the motorcycle. Artes has likewise said that CCTV footage and other evidence that might help will be forwarded to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be able to conduct an investigation.

“We encourage the driver of the white SUV and driver of the tanker to cooperate with PNP to shed light to the incident,” Artes later added. He also called on any other witnesses who might have seen the accident unfold to “come out, report to the authorities, and bring justice to the victim”.

“We keep on reminding motorists not to use the innermost lane of EDSA as it may result in an accident, but despite our repeated calls and pleas, many drivers of privately-owned vehicles and motorcycle riders disregard the policy,” said Artes.

Again, as a reminder, the EDSA Bus Lane is only for passenger buses, ambulances, and marked government vehicles responding to emergencies. Just because you have a red plate of a government vehicle does not exempt you from the rule, nor does wanting to avoid a line of traffic just to get ahead of everyone else.

Edsa Bus Lane Accident Mmda Warning Inline 03 Min

Photo: MMDA

At the press conference, Artes also mentioned that an increase in accidents was noted during the last quarter of the year following the Supreme Court’s issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the MMDA’s No Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP). Monitored traffic violations since its suspension has also increased. In May of this year alone, 32,739 traffic violations were recorded. These traffic violations cause road accidents and slow down vehicular traffic, according to the MMDA Acting Chairman. All LGUs expressed that they will abide by the TRO and NCAP has been stopped since.

“We find it difficult to enforce the exclusivity of the said lane without the certainty of a CCTV-assisted apprehension, thereby exposing our motorcycle riders to a greater risk,” Artes lamented. Following yesterday’s accident, Artes stated that “the agency will also coordinate with the Office of the Solicitor General to show the agency’s data and to possibly file a motion for the Supreme Court (SC) to consider lifting the TRO imposed upon the agency’s NCAP”. One such motion was already filed last year.

The EDSA Bus Lane’s exclusivity is not a foreign rule to all motorists in Metro Manila. It’s called a “bus lane” for a reason, and if you’re driving a vehicle that is not a bus, then please stay in your proper lane.

A loss of life like this can be avoided, and even more, reckless and dangerous driving should be condemned at the highest level. We hope that all the proper government agencies can find ways to properly and effectively enforce the bus lane rules, and fast.

As responsible motorists, we must abide by these rules. Please do.

Mikko Juangco
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