When was the last time you were overtaken by a convoy with their bright lights and blaring sirens or “wang-wang”? All of us have surely been forced aside at least once, and if it wasn’t for an emergency vehicle, it wouldn’t have been a fun thing. The PNP-HPG recently issued its statement regarding the use and abuse of such devices and the LTO has now likewise cleared who can legally use these implements.
Only select vehicles can legally use wang-wang and blinkers
The LTO was quick to pick up on this issue, and Officer-in-Charge Atty. Romeo Vera Cruz reminded the public about the prohibition of unauthorized use of the said devices. As early as 1973, Presidential Decree No. 96 had already lined up those who are authorized by law to use sirens, blinkers, and similar devices. The said vehicles are vehicles from the:
- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
- Police Departments
- Fire Departments
- Hospital ambulances
- Land Transportation Commission (now the LTO)
This list has further been reiterated by LTO Administrative Order No.1 Series of 1973, with the addition of the following:
- Tower Service Cars
- Wreckers / Tow Trucks
Here’s where it gets very interesting. The LTO Memorandum on Motorcycle Escorts and Unauthorized Use of Sirens and Blinkers, Markers, etc., dated 23 July 1998 clearly states that the wang-wang and blinkers can only be used by the following government officials:
- Vice President
- Senate President
- Speaker of the House of Representatives
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
“Motorists who are unauthorized to use wang-wang, blinkers, and other similar devices should remove these or face the consequences under the law,” Atty. Romeo Vera Cruz, LTO OIC
If you’re a “normal” citizen who uses blinkers or sirens or a wang-wang, take this as (yet another) warning that you’re breaking the law. Before you catch the eyes and ears of law enforcement units, it would be wise to remember this:
Under the Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 dated 2 June 2014, the use of wang-wang, blinkers, or any improper or unauthorized accessories, devices, equipment, and parts constitutes a violation, and shall be meted a fine of PHP 5,000, confiscation of the device/gadget in favor of the government, and the corresponding demerit point against their driver’s license
It never pays to break the law, and following all rules and regulations can only do you good. More than the inconvenience that will be caused, it’s a show of courtesy, more than anything, to not use or abuse things that are supposed to be “regulated” by the said laws.
Let’s hope the LTO remains steadfast in the implementation and enforcement of these rules. After all, no one is or should act as if they are above the law.