Back in March, the motorcycle community came to a heated discussion on whether motorcycle riders should be penalized when their pillion is not wearing a closed-toe shoe.
It all started when an MMDA enforcer apprehended a rider with a pillion who was only wearing flip flops or slippers. The MMDA used the Land Transportation Office’s 2008 memo, AHS 2008-15, as the basis for the apprehension. Retired police colonel, Bonifacio Bosita, a motorcycle rights activist, allegedly challenged the apprehension on the spot.
He, in turn, claimed that there was no mention of the rule applying to a pillion or backrider in the said memo. He even went so far as to have the apprehending MMDA traffic enforcer to pay for a day's wages. All this without going through the proper adjudication process.
The incident caught the attention of EDSA traffic boss Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija, who said that Bosita had taken the law into his hands instead of going through the correct and lawful process. This started the long debate between motorcycle riders on social media over the issue.
Some argued that the LTO’s 2008 memo makes a lot of sense, especially that motorcycle riders are more exposed to the elements and can injure one’s self easily on the foot if not wearing proper, closed-toe footwear.
Others supported Bosita’s stand, arguing that since it was not specifically stated on the memo, pillion riders who wear slippers are exempted from the law.
Looking back at his social media post yesterday, Nebrija said that motorcycle riders still wear slippers and he and his team had already apprehended a good number of them. So he thought while talking with blogger Gadget Addict, “if we give out helmets to those who deserve it, why don’t we do the same with those wearing slippers by giving them shoes?”
With Gadget Addict’s help, a couple of Main Wood shoes were given to riders who were still wearing their slippers. Main Wood is a Proudly Philippine-made shoe brand based in Valenzuela City.
Join the “shoe pantry”
Though the MMDA is not calling for this, it might also be a good idea to help our fellow riders by donating new shoes for the cause, if you have the resources to spare. Though many motorcycle riders are still wearing slippers because of convenience, some are genuinely not in the capacity to buy a new motor oil for their bike’s PMS, let alone a new pair of shoes for riding.