What if there’s a way to get rid of the proverbial sweet potato, AKA “Kamote” on our roads? Proper education and training are the answer, and the Motorcycle Riding Academy of the MMDA aims to do just that. In a bid to decrease motorcycle-related accidents and to promote road safety, the agency will be spearheading an educational facility that they hope will train safer motorcyclists.
MMDA Motorcycle Riding Academy for beginners and pros
If you’re wondering what the Academy will be providing for its “students”, the list is quite extensive. Lecture modules that have already been established – for now – include but are not limited to the following: Motorcycle Riding Courtesy, Motorcycle Orientation, Road Traffic Rules and Regulations, and Motorcycle Safety Laws; while simulation exercises include Preparing to Ride, Common Riding Situations, MC Safety Driving Demonstration, and Motorcycle Basic Riding Course.
It aims to provide proper training and basic knowledge such as different types, characteristics, basic parts, basic control and operation of motorcycles; various road safety laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of motorcycles, necessary driving skills on how to avoid hazardous situations, and understanding risk awareness and risk-taking to beginner and veteran motorcyclists alike.
Where will the Academy be constructed, you ask? The plan is to use the vacant lot which is the property of the GSIS along Julia Vargas corner of Meralco Avenue. For now, no formal agreement has been met but both the MMDA and the GSIS are set to sign and enter a Memorandum of Agreement for the utilization of the property.
So, why now?
According to the MMDA Accident Reporting and Analysis System data from 2018, motorcycle riders tallied the highest number of road crash fatalities at around 38% or 224 fatalities from a total of 590. Fatalities increased from 2020 and 2021 recorded at 253 and 295, respectively. To rub more salt into that wound, the Philippines ranked 11th out of 175th countries with the reported number of road traffic deaths at 10,012 of which 4.7% are drivers/passengers of 2- or 3- wheelers in the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety by the World Health Organization.
“Through this Motorcycle Riding Academy, we aim to further promote road safety, particularly to our motorcyclists who are very much at risk to road mishaps. It’s a good opportunity for them to refresh and hone their riding skills and to provide first aid to people who will encounter unexpected road accidents,” said Atty. Don Artes, MMDA Acting Chairman.
Aside from basic riding training, those who will enter the Academy will also be taught basic emergency response skills. Training is free and will be open to all interested participants. Once they “graduate”, they will be given certificates upon completion of lectures, practical application, and Basic Emergency Response Course.
Currently, the MMDA is already in talks with motorcycle ride-hailing groups such as Grab that riders who completed the course in the Academy will be given priority in their employment.
It’s a good thing that LTO-accredited driving schools are already providing the necessary education and training to those who may want to use motorcycles as a form of transportation and work. But the need to supplement their knowledge and practical usage is a sign that there really is something that needs to be addressed in the motorcycle-riding community.
We all know that the “kamote” is pretty easy to grow, but we didn’t expect its human sub-species to proliferate that much easier. Having a license to drive is not a right, but a privilege, as we all say. If you’re one who consciously pays no heed to the rules of law and the importance of safety, then do yourself and everyone else on the road a favor: do the right thing and take all the proper educational courses that you can. The MMDA Motorcycle Riding Academy, in particular, will be free anyway.
It’s time. Be affected, take it to heart: Don’t be a sweet potato. But saying it in Filipino just rolls off the tongue better: “Huwag kang kamote“.