The hot topic of the MMDA enforcing the law and apprehending motorcycles blocking the flow of traffic continues. Yesterday saw the first day of stricter (and may we say long overdue) enforcement of the law against Obstruction of Traffic and agency Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes has again reminded the public that this is not something new, that has a legal basis, and that it can (and should) be implemented anytime, any day.
Fine set at PHP 1K for motorcyclists apprehended by MMDA for blocking roads to seek shelter from the rain
Atty. Don Artes, Acting Chairman of the MMDA was very adamant about enforcing this law. We can remember that the “issue” came to light when, during heavy rains a few weeks ago, (a) video(s) of motorcycles seeking shelter from the downpour stopped under a bridgeway and almost completely blocked the flow of traffic.
Despite what many might say, the law has existed for a very long time now, and though there was a problem with enforcement, that is what the MMDA is seeking to remedy now.
That said, it has also been reiterated that stopping under such bridges or flyovers per se is not grounds for apprehension. If a motorcyclist pulls over to the side of the road just to put on rain gear and leaves immediately, enforcers will give them enough leeway to do so. The main problem is when motorcyclists start grouping and huddling under said shelter spots along the road, take up one or many lanes, and start to block the flow of traffic. The government and law enforcers maintained that this is dangerous not just to motorcyclists but to other motorists as well, and that is what the apprehension wants to address.
The fine for violating this particular law is set at PHP 1K under the Single Ticketing System.
As expected, this was met with a lot of anger and anti-poor remarks from the motorcycling public. Comments from government officials and motorcycle riders went so much as to lambast the enforcement of the law, but really, as tough and “harsh” as it is, it is the law. Time and again, we are all reminded that having a Driver’s License is a privilege and not a right, and with it comes the responsibility to know not just how to operate a motor vehicle but to know the laws governing driving as well.
At this point, we can only hope that the MMDA‘s efforts to get help from establishments along main roads to put up temporary rain shelters can be realized sooner than later. At least that will give motorcyclists a place to go; no one deserves to be drenched by heavy rains, regardless of the transportation that they take. Or have.