About 1,350 riders were caught on the first day of the backrider shield implementation, reported JTF COVID Shield Commander, Police Lt. Gen Guillermo Eleazar. The COVID Shield Commander revealed this during a radio interview on Sunday.
Of the total 1350 violators, 1,284 had no barriers at all. Out of those, 580 were unauthorized passengers (not spouses or live-in partners). There were 66 who did have barriers, however, their passengers were not their spouses or live-in partners.
Those caught had their license confiscated and issued tickets (temporary operators’ permits [TOP]). According to Eleazar, no barrier on a motorcycle is considered reckless driving. Having an unauthorized passenger (not spouse or live-in partner) is considered overloading.
For these offenses, the Land Transportation Office imposed a fine of up to PhP2,000 for the first offense; PhP3,000 for a second offense; and up to PhP10,000 for succeeding offenses.
Currently, backriding has been banned again in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite due to the imposition of MECQ. However, for those outside these areas, backriding is still allowed. Like before, it is limited to spouses or live-in partners, so long as they can provide proof of their domestic arrangement. A barrier — built and fitted according to the government’s prescribed specifications — is also a requirement.
Former Senator, JV Ejercito, called for the scrapping of the requirement on social media, calling the regulation “stupid” and “dangerous.”
*Main photo is a 2019 file photo.