Know the right way to load cargo on your motorcycle

Just recently, reports have been circulating on various motorcycle social media groups that Quezon City has been apprehending motorcyclists who pass within their territorial jurisdiction with poorly secured cargo. With the rising popularity of on-demand delivery services, riders who work for this service have become frequent targets. As a result, the enforcement of the QC Ordinance has been met with criticism and confusion from both the riding community and the public that depend on these services.

Last week, however, Riders of the Philippines (ROTP) had a meeting with the city's Committee on Transportation, chaired by Councilor Ramon “Toto” Medalla. In the meeting, Medalla revealed that Quezon City is enforcing this rule based on an existing ordinance that was passed in 2015. The “Motorcycle Load Limit Ordinance of Quezon City” or Ordinance No. SP-2467, S-2015, authored by Toto Medalla himself, aims to protect not only motorcycle riders but also the 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.”

QC cargo ordinance explained imageROTP photo

The ROTP has listed ten simple guidelines that can be followed to avoid hefty fines and at the same time be safe on the road:

1. Cargo that is placed on the back seat of the motorcycle must be TIED DOWN using proper material such as nylon straps, rope, elastic nets or bands, including tie-downs with a ratchet and the like. Plastic straws, masking tape, scotch tape, packing tape or cling wrap and the like are not considered as acceptable tie-downs.

2. The cargo must be in ONE container whether made by plastic, carton, textile or material that can hold the cargo together. This must be tied down properly in accordance with guideline number 1. No two or more pieces placed on top or beside each other will be considered as acceptable. This is considered as "loose" cargo and therefore dangerous.

3. Cargo must be placed in a safe and secure location that will not interfere with the handling and hand or foot placement of the rider. No cargo must be placed in front unless it is a tank bag or the likes of which is specifically manufactured for motorcycle use. Preferred cargo placement is on the rear passenger seat.

4. Cargo dimensions must not extend more than 1 meter from the center of the motorcycle to the sides.

5. Cargo overhang towards the rear must not extend more than 1 foot from the rear of the motorcycle.

6. Cargo must not extend above the head of the rider unless it is a musical instrument, engineering or architecture tool or other equipment carried in a bag that is strapped to the rider.

7. Cargo weight must not go beyond the allowable load capacity of a motorcycle based on its user manual.

8. Delivery bags with proper tie-downs or body straps are exempted from this ordinance. E.g.: Lalamove, Grab Food, and the likes.

9. Only one passenger other than the rider is allowed. The maximum number of people riding a motorcycle must not go over two (2) persons per motorcycle.

10. If the motorcycle was not designed for two (2) persons or is not equipped with footpegs and a seat for the back rider (pillion), it shall be also considered as overloading.

QC cargo ordinance explained imageROTP photo

Penalties for violating the Motorcycle Load Limit Ordinance of Quezon City will be PhP1,000 for the first offense, PhP3,000 for the second offense and revocation of driver's license for the third and final offense.

Upon reading through the ordinance, we agree that it's enforcement is definitely for the good of everyone, especially for us motorcycle riders who sometimes use our steeds beyond what they are capable of. We also do hope that this clarifies things up and please secure your cargo properly to avoid fines.