House Bill 3366: Fair Traffic Apprehension Act will compensate motorists for wrongful citations

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Getting apprehended by traffic enforcers is not such a good thing. If you’re in the wrong, then good, you got caught. But if you didn’t do anything wrong and yet you’re flagged and subsequently given a ticket, that’s not nice at all. That might change soon with the filing of the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act in Congress.

House Bill No. 3366, we’ll call it the “Fair Traffic Apprehension Act” for short, and it’s pretty good

Mmda Sidewalk Edsa Fair Traffic Apprehension Act Inline 01

So yes, we’re shortening or renaming House Bill No. 3366 (HB 3366) for the sake of this article. Filed by Rep. Bonifacio Bosita, HB 3366 is “an act enforcing fair traffic apprehension, granting for the purpose compensation to drivers of motor vehicles for improper traffic apprehension and imposing administrative sanctions for erring traffic enforcement personnel”. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

But in a nutshell, the good congressman wants to safeguard motorists who are apprehended or handed citations despite not breaking any traffic rules or laws. The motorist will be paid by the “state”, and the traffic enforcer involved will be handed a sanction as well. Sounds good, right? But what really pushed this into the halls of Congress?

While we don’t have the full document, it can be seen that apparently and allegedly, traffic enforcers have a ticketing quota system. This system gives anywhere from 10% – 20% of the collected fines from traffic apprehensions to the enforcers by the Local Government Units (LGU). That’s the pretty bad part. But what’s as “disturbing” is the fact that some enforcers are just not knowledgeable in the implementation of traffic laws, rules, or regulations. Or maybe they are, but as the Bill states, some are just out there for personal gain.

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Other known provisions included in the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act

Mmda Sidewalk Edsa Fair Traffic Apprehension Act Inline 02

Photo: Riders Safety Advocates of the Philippines RSAP

Again, we do not have the full document, but Cong. Bosita has posted more details and inclusions in his authored bill on the Riders Safety Advocates of the Philippines RSAP Facebook Page. It is in Filipino, so to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation, we will post it as is.

  1. Maaring mag-picture o mag-video habang hinuhuli ng Pulis o ng Enforcer ang driver o rider.
    Magagamit itong basehan kapag nag-contest ang driver o rider na naniniwalang mali ang naganap na panghuhuli sa kanila;

  2. Maaring magsama ng hindi tataas sa limang (5) katao ang driver o rider para sa contest na isasampa ng mga ito.
    Mahalaga ito para hindi ma-bully at ng may lakas ng loob ang driver o rider kung ito ay naabuso o nabiktima ng maling pagpapatupad ng Batas Trapiko;

  3. Maaring mag-picture o mag-live video (live streaming) ang sinumang kasama ng driver o rider habang isinasagawa ang pagdinig (hearing) sa contest nito.
    Public Service ito at hindi pribado kaya wala itong paglabag sa privacy act.
    Layunin dito ang transparency at public awareness para matiyak na patas at maayos ang bawat pagdinig sa contest ng driver o rider;

  4. Ang Adjudication Office ay obligadong mag-issue ng Certificate of Appearance bawat pagdulog ng driver o rider at status ng contest nito.
    Basehan ito para sa kwenta ng danyos kapag napatunayang mali ang naging panghuhuli sa driver o rider;

  5. Ang Adjudication Board o Office ay magsusumite ng bayaring danyos para sa driver o rider kapag napatunayang mali ang huli ng pulis o ng enforcer dito;

  6. Reponsibilidad din ng Adjudication Board o Office na magsumite ng report sa kinauukulang opisina o ahensya kung saan nakatalaga ang Enforcer o deputized enforcer.
    Ito ay para mabigyan ng kaukulang parusang administratibo ang pulis o ang enforcer na napatunayang nagkamali sa pagpapatupad ng Batas sa driver o rider;

  7. Papanagutin din ng panukalang Batas na ito ang kawani na mapapatunayang hindi ginampanan ng tama ang kanilang tungkulin bilang public servant kaugnay sa contest na isinagawa ng driver o rider; at

  8. Nakasaad rin sa panukalang Batas na ito kung paano kukwentahin ang danyos para sa driver o rider, kabilang ang danyos kapag mali ang naging pag-impound ng sasakyan ng driver o rider.

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It’s very apparent that the inclusions in the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act have been pretty well thought out. Cong. Bosita even went on to say that the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act will not need any additional funding because “sa multa ng mga motorista na nakokolekta ng mga Traffic Enforcement Units babawasin ang ibabayad nilang danyos sa mga motorista“. Again, do bear with us for posting in the vernacular, we wouldn’t want to misquote anything; at least until a full copy of the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act document is provided.

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We’re pretty sure that a lot of motorists will highly be in favor of this being passed into law. After all, everyone’s aware of the notoriety of some areas and their enforcers and for all the time they’ve operated “unchallenged”, the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act should put them in their proper and rightful place. But while we’re waiting, and if you’ve been tagged for a violation by the MMDA, you can check out what you can do in our quick guide that you can find here.

Do you agree with this House Bill? Do you want the Fair Traffic Apprehension Act to be passed into law? Let us know your thoughts.

 

Mikko Juangco
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