MMDA: Metro Manila Council may release comprehensive rules on e-bike, e-trike use this week

The past few weeks have been riddled with news about e-bikes and the apparent “unruliness” on public roads by some. “Unruliness” is the operative word as the fact remains that there really aren’t any solid rules in place for their use. Both the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) were quick to get on top of this, and the former reported that guidelines may very well be released by the Council within this week.

MMC quickly writes rules to govern e-bikes, e-trikes, and other light electric vehicles

Mmda Mmc E Bike Rules Regulations Inline 03 Min

Photo: Don Artes

It cannot be denied that there has been a pretty big boom in the numbers of both e-bikes and e-trikes in the country. Along many roads in Metro Manila alone, we can see them going about their merry way alongside motor vehicles and motorcycles. This aforementioned “boom” can be attributed to the fact that there aren’t any enforced rules that require registration of such vehicles, and the fact that those driving them don’t necessarily need to be Driver’s License holders. We’ll talk more about this later, though.

This is what agencies like the MMDA and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), in cooperation with the MMC, would want to address.

Mmda Mmc E Bike Rules Regulations Inline 02 Min

Photo: ToJo Motors

When complaints, some with accompanying videos, of some e-bikes breaking road rules started surfacing about a week and a half ago, LTO Chief Vigor Mendoza was quick to give his opinion on the matter. The plan is to first come up with guidelines on the registration of these types of e-vehicles, plus the licensing of those who will drive them.

“Itong pag-aaralan natin yung registration ng mga sasakyan at licensing of the person. Kung ‘di naman sila national roads kahit na public roads. As long as lumabas sila sa komunidad nakakaapekto sila sa safety at daloy ng trapiko [We’ll study the registration of these vehicles and licensing of the drivers. If not for national roads, at least some rules for public roads. As long as they go out into the community, they affect safety and the flow of traffic],” said Mendoza.

On the side of the MMDA, Chief Romando Artes also gave his concerns on this matter. “Paano namin huhulihin wala kami ma-isyuhan ng ticket kasi wala naman lisensya yung nagmamaneho. Di rin namin pwede icharge yung vehicle kasi di rehistrado [How can we apprehend or ticket them when the driver doesn’t have a license? We can’t place a fine either because it is not a registered vehicle],” Artes lamented.

Mmda Mmc E Bike Rules Regulations Inline 01 Min

Photo: ToJo Motors

These concerns about the use of e-bikes may all see an end soon, though. According to the MMDA Director of the Traffic Enforcement Group, Victor Nunez, the resolution(s) will further be discussed this week and is expected to be approved soon after. The resolution will include fines and penalties for those who may “abuse” the use of e-bikes and e-trikes.

In case it’s been totally forgotten, there actually are guidelines on the registration of light electric vehicles; its implementation and enforcement of which are just not apparent. If that factoid piques your interest, you can read our article on it here. Yes, that does include some information on e-bikes and e-trikes.

This will continue to be a pretty hot topic for all motorists, and whatever decision all the relevant government agencies and bodies come up with will be under a lot of scrutiny from the public. But until such time that we have a clearer picture, we’ll continue to remain optimistic and realistic. All we need now is a copy or a statement on what rules will properly govern all the e-bikes and e-trikes that have amassed on our roads.

Mikko Juangco
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