1-Rider party-list representative, Cong. Ramon Gutierrez has proposed a law that will create a national agency that would take away the traffic law enforcement and management duties from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and local government units (LGUs) in a bid for a unified and centralized approach to traffic enforcement here in the country.
House Bill (HB) 3410 or the Traffic Enforcement Centralization Act, aims to create a new government agency, the National Traffic Management Center (NTMC), which will become the chief agency in charge of traffic policy, enforcement, and regulation nationwide.
The new agency will be an attached agency under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and will be headed by an Executive Director.
Role of NTMC
To put it simply, NTMC will be the national agency that will centralize traffic enforcement in the country. NTMC will also be tasked to formulate policies in relation to traffic, including uniformed penalties, training of ALL traffic enforcers nationwide, undertaking road safety audits on all highways, as well as conducting scientific research on the causes and effects of road accidents and effective systems to prevent them.
National NCAP system
The bill also calls for the use of technology as a means to regulate and enforce traffic laws. Under Section 14, the use of CCTVs or No-Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) will be utilized to apprehend traffic violators and “may be implemented nationwide.”
HB 3410 guarantees that the NCAP will be governed by the right to due process and that drivers or riders will have equal protection of the law.
Compensation may be given for wrongful apprehension
In the event that a motorist contested an apprehension and won, HB 3410 says that “damages may be awarded as compensation for the lost opportunity of work.” If ever, the funds for such compensation will be paid out from the fines collected. It is not clear though if such “fines collected” mean fines collected from the same apprehended person or just refunding it back; or will come from the fines collected by NTMC.
Will this be the solution to the often crazy and confusing traffic policies of different cities and government agencies? You can read the full text of HB 3410 here.