Motorcycle riders transporting 4 car tires charged by LTO with reckless driving

These days, with the heavy and unpredictable traffic, motorcycles have become the “jack of all trades” when it comes to transportation. They can be a daily driver, an errand bike, or even used as a “delivery van” for some businesses or individuals. While there's nothing wrong with making the most out of a motorcycle – particularly underbones and scooters – and using them to deliver goods as fast and as efficient as possible, there are some things you simply shouldn't transport with a motorcycle.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has warned today that carrying too much cargo on a motorcycle could be charged with “reckless driving,” resulting in a and PhP2,000.00 penalty + seminar for the first offense, up to perpetual revocation of the driver's license (professional) and PhP10,000.00 fine, for repeat offenses.

This warning stemmed from a viral social media post, which may seem funny for many, but not the LTO. In the photo, two individuals were photographed while riding a scooter. What irked the LTO was the unsafe way the 4 SUV tires were loaded ON the pillion. With four tires stacked around his body like the Michelin Man, his arms could not hold on to the driver for balance.

The LTO cited Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01, citing that the driver was clearly disregarding any measure of safety or caution. “What the driver did was clear neglect and disregard for safety,” said the LTO in Filipino on their social media post.

They also added that carrying loads unsafely could pose dangers not only for him and his pillion but also to the other road users and even pedestrians. Additionally, the pillion failed to wear a standard motorcycle helmet, according to the LTO, and that constitutes a P1,500.00 fine for the first offense, up to PhP5,000.00 for the third offense in accordance with Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.

Last September, Quezon City has intensified its campaign against motorcycle riders with excessive cargo on their motorcycles. The “Motorcycle Load Limit Ordinance of Quezon City” or Ordinance No. SP-2467, S-2015, authored by Coun. Toto Medalla, aims to protect not only motorcycle riders but also other road users in the event of cargo spillage or much worse, loss of control of the motorcycle due to overloading. Section 6 of the ordinance says that “motorcycles are not designed to carry much cargo unless saddlebags, side pods, top boxes, and the like are used.”

Am I carrying too much load on my motorcycle?

It's actually pretty easy to determine how much weight your motorcycle can carry. The easiest way is to look for it under the “max load limit” in the owner's manual that came with your motorcycle from the dealership. If that's not available, a quick search on Google should produce results. Another way is to look at the Certificate of Registration or what we commonly called “CR”, and look for the “net capacity”.

However, there are times that the figure on the CR may not be totally accurate as transcribed by the LTO. If so, just subtract the motorcycle's net weight (motorcycle weight with all fluids oil, gas, coolant, etc.) or “NET WT” on the CR from the gross weight (maximum allowable weight of an entire motorcycle when it's packed up and ready to go including all liquids) or “GROSS WT.” Then you will get the load limit for your motorcycle. For example, if your motorcycle's gross weight is 130 kilograms and its net weight 80 kilograms, then the load limit is 50 kilograms (130 – 80 = 50).

Also, bear in mind that cargo on motorcycles should and always be properly secured with the proper equipment like tie downs, rachets, or bungee cords specifically designed for motorcycle cargo. Avoid securing cargo on motorcycles with masking tape, cellophane, nylon rope, or the like.