Motorcycle riders are perhaps the most discriminated road users. We at MotoPinas.com know because, we too, ride our motorcycles every day.
From motorcycle-only checkpoints, to sub-400cc bans on expressways, subjective interpretation of aftermarket restrictions, to even discrimination in parking lots, the list goes on for the Juan dela Cruz rider. Then there’s Senator Dick Gordon’s “doble plaka” law, which could land a motorcycle rider in jail simply because he lost his or her motorcycle’s number plate.
This, and all the discrimination against motorcycle riders may soon be over if Senate Bill (SB) 2263 becomes a law.
Filipino boxer and senator, Manny Pacquiao, has recently filed SB 2263 or the Motorcycle Rights and Safety Act of 2021. The bill aims to “protect and promote the rights of motorcycle owners and users to proper standards of ownership and use, to their safe operation, and to reasonable and responsive regulation of the trades supporting the said ownership and use.”
Jobert Bolanos of the Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO), has shared that it took 13 years of lobbying before a lawmaker finally sponsored a that will uphold and protect the rights of all the 17-million motorcycle riders here in the country.
“There will be no more subjective apprehensions, no more violation of our property rights, no more harassment for stupid ordinances, local enforcement will be properly trained and screened by the LTO on traffic rules and regulations, legal and legitimate aftermarket parts will no longer get us wrongfully apprehended, motorcycle taxies will be legalized, proper rider’s training shall be provided, an objective and proper noise regulation shall be implemented, the right safety requirements shall be properly defined and enforced, and we shall be recognized as who we truly are, AN INTEGRAL PART OF SOCIETY...,” said Bolanos.
Amending the 57-year-old RA 4136
Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, was signed in 1964 by then-president, Diosdado Macapagal, sets the basis for all traffic rules and regulations of the land. However, 57 years after its signing, the traffic code was never really amended to integrate motorcycles in it.
With SB 2263, some important sections of RA 4136 will be amended. Section 6 will amend Section 8 of RA 4136 to classify certain displacements as motorcycles, instead of mopeds. Section 7, Section 34, subparagraph (j) of RA 4136 will be amended to set 99 decibels as the standard noise limit for motorcycles with a muffler installed.
In Section 8, a new subparagraph (k) will be added to RA 4136 Section 34 to define aftermarket parts and accessories as legal as long as they do not affect the safety and operation/ use of a motorcycle.
Section 10 will amend Section 3 of RA 4136 to include “rider” and “professional rider” as operators of a vehicle. A professional rider will be defined as the same as a professional driver – meaning that they are being paid to ride a motorcycle either in the private sector (offices, delivery services, etc.) or as public transport (motorcycle taxi).
Section 16, SB 2263 aims to amend Section 4, subparagraph (c) (7) of RA 4136 that only traffic/ law enforcement units duly deputized by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) can enforce the traffic laws “for orderliness in enforcement” and “completeness of coordinate authority”. This will ensure that law/ traffic enforcement units are well versed with traffic laws and there will be no more subjective apprehensions against motorcycle riders.
In Section 18, SB 2263 will amend Section 5 (b) of RA 4136 to finally make motorcycle taxis legal. For the complete copy, open this link on the MRO page.
One-time, big-time for drunk riding
In Section 12 of SB 2263, it will be unlawful for a motorcycle rider to operate his or her motorcycle if he or she is under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs.
“The LTO shall automatically revoke the license of a rider that is apprehended in the operation of a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or a prohibited drug, whether or not such apprehension is made in conjunction with another violation.”
Motorcycle Safety Program
Section 14 of SB 2263 will mandate the LTO to create and develop to identify and address the concerns regarding motorcycle safety in national and local highways. This means that the LTO will study the causes of motorcycle road accidents and will create a program to prevent the same, including the introduction of motorcycle safety education/ seminars to driver’s license applicants and traffic violators.
No city or municipality can make its own “motorcycle law”
Throughout the country, many municipalities down to the barangay level enact their own ordinances to the detriment of the motorcycle rider. The perfect example is the “no helmet” ordinances in some cities, municipalities, and barangays that prohibit motorcycle riders from wearing their protective helmets when visitng or passing through these areas.
Section 20 of SB2263 will make it unlawful for these localities to enact such laws or supersede the national law concerning motorcycle riders, by inserting a new Section 62 in RA 4136.
We just hope and pray that if this becomes a law, we motorcycle riders will no longer be treated as second-class citizens in our own country.