Motorcycle rights group strongly oppose bill seeking helmet law amendment

During the 18th congress, Rep. Arnolfo Teves of Negros Oriental filed House Bill (HB) 153 which seeks to amend Section 3 of Republic Act 10054, the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.

The proposed bill seeks to make wearing a motorcycle helmet optional especially if riding only within the city or crowded streets where the maximum allowed speed should not exceed 40 kilometers per hour. By contrast, Republic Act 10054 prescribes that the helmet be worn at all times. The bill’s discussion is being revived now at the House Committee on Transportation.

The proposed change is in part due to several LGUs that wish to prevent crimes by having riders easily identifiable when in populated areas.

Solon wants helmet ‘optional’, riders oppose image

Motorcycle rights group, Riders Of The Philippines (ROTP), strongly opposes the amendment.

"When you sacrifice safety for security, you will lose both," said Jobert Bolaños, ROTP secretariat. The group added that, while they are happy to submit their cooperation and participation to help the authorities fight riding-in-tandem criminals by other means, they will not support any effort that compromises the safety of a motorcycle rider, such as making wearing a helmet optional.

While security may be one consideration for proposing an amendment to RA 10054, 2017 data from the MMDA and DOH indicates that motorcyclists were involved in about 53% of the total reported road traffic fatalities. Also in the same year, it was reported that 58.3% of the total crash-related injury cases involved motorcycles. Of the total 6,579 reported injuries, only 184 were wearing standard protective helmets, which means that riders are more prone to fatalities if they are not wearing their helmets.