The MMDA issued a reminder to the public, specifically to motorcyclists who would huddle under flyovers, overpasses, or bridges when it’s raining, that the practice is unsafe. We’re pretty sure we’ve all encountered a mass of riders clogging up a lane, sometimes even two or three, when the rain starts to pour, and that inevitably causes traffic and can potentially lead to (worse) accidents. Soon enough, reminders of the “illegality” of this practice may come with a fine.
MMDA emphasizes that motorcycles engage in “obstruction of traffic” when huddling under bridges, flyovers
“Dangerous” is how MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes would describe the huddling of motorcyclists under bridges and other structures to seek shelter from the rain. In a report, he was noted saying “It is dangerous for them to be on a highway and then stop. They could be run over if other motorists don’t see them.”
MMDA Task Force Special Operations (TFSO) head Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija likewise echoes this sentiment. “Isa lang na SUV o light truck ang mawalan ng preno, o makatulog ang driver o di kaya lasing at masuyod kayo dyan na parang bowling pin, kawawa naman pamilya nyo na nagaantay sa inyong makauwi. Please naman kung pwede huwag kayo dyan magpalipas ng ulan. Napakadelikado po [Just one SUV or light truck that loses its brakes, or a sleepy or drunk driver hits you like bowling pins, it will be sad for your family if that happens. Please don’t wait there for the rain to pass. It is very dangerous],” said Nebrija.
That said, the MMDA also included a reminder that specific layby areas under flyovers and (some) bridges do exist, and these are the proper areas for motorcyclists to go to in order to take shelter from the rain. The agency is also said to be in talks with gas stations found along the stretch of EDSA to help the cause by possibly putting up tents as temporary shelters.
Moving forward, and to strongly discourage the dangerous practice, the MMDA is looking at enforcing the law against “obstruction of traffic” and will be issuing a PHP 500 to those found in violation of the said (existing) law. Aside from the obvious blockage at the source, it inevitably leads to long lines of traffic down the road, especially if the rains continue for a long time. And that is not good for anyone.
No one wants to be drenched in rain so helplessly, and we do empathize with motorcyclists who may find that they have “no other choice” but to take refuge under such structures. But as licensed motorists, we must also all be aware that there are rules that we must follow, and obstructing traffic flow is not one we should so easily do.
Dura lex sed lex. It is harsh, but it is the law. It’s best we follow it.
We hope the MMDA and all other agencies and private companies (gas stations) find ways to help motorcyclists through this plight, sooner, rather than later.