During the past few days, EDSA boss, Edison “Bong” Nebrija, has been sharing his experiences flagging down erring motorists on his social media account. We've already shared a few, particularly of blatant violations that should have never been committed in the first place.
Unfortunately, he says there are still a lot of instances where the motorcycle rider they flagged down (due to a traffic violation) turns out to be lacking the basic requirements: a legitimate driver’s license from the LTO; and proof of current registration.
In this recent video from the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), a motorcycle rider was flagged down by operatives because he was wearing a sub-standard motorcycle helmet. Also, he was only wearing slippers and not the required closed-toe footwear.
As it turns out, during the verification process, the rider was also driving without a license. What he presented were fake motorcycle registration documents, according to I-ACT. In addition, I-ACT says the rider was on his way to Sta. Mesa, Manila from Malabon because he was invited to play pusoy (a card game with gambling involved).
What does it add up to?
All told, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) prescribes fines for license, registration, as well as traffic violations.
For not wearing a standard motorcycle helmet, RA 10054 prescribes a PhP1,500 penalty. As for driving without a license, that’s a PhP3,000 fine plus a 1-year suspension from being granted a driver’s license by the LTO.
Since he allegedly presented fake motorcycle registration documents, he will also be fined PhP10,000 for driving an unregistered vehicle. His motorcycle will be impounded by the authorities until such fines are settled. Additional fees might also be added for the impound and storage of his scooter.
Finally, since he was only wearing slippers, that’s an additional PhP500 fine. At the very minimum, this rider has to pay at least PhP15,000 in fines, because (1) he never bothered to buy a standard motorcycle helmet; (2) he did not get an authentic LTO license; (3) he did not renew his scooter’s registration (due to possible registration issues) and (4) he did not wear his shoes (proper attire violation).
What can we learn from this rider?
As motorcycle riders, we have to remember that these laws are there for our protection. Wearing a helmet shouldn't be done only for compliance. You should be wearing a standard, motorcycle-specific helmet because you want to protect your head in the event of an accident. Substandard helmets are not allowed because they do not provide the required head protection a genuine motorcycle helmet does.
Driving is a privilege, not a right. By skipping the process of applying legally, not only do you endanger other road users, but you also endanger yourself because you’re not familiar with even the most basic traffic rules. Seminars that teach these traffic rules are required when applying legally.
For PhP15,000, this rider could’ve bought himself a nice helmet that complies with the law, closed-toe shoes, and the proper protective riding gear to get him safely to his destination. It may be tempting and seem cheaper to take shortcuts like buying a cheap helmet and forged documents, but once caught, they'll end up costing you more.