Bong Nebrija: 'Road safety is non-negotiable'

When tough times strike, people, including motorcycle riders, hustle every day to make ends meet. Unfortunately, that’s not an excuse to undermine your own safety, especially if you are also risking the lives of other road users.

Just this morning, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) team EDSA, led by Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija, has flagged down a motorcycle rider who turned his trusty Suzuki Smash 115 into a vegetable hauler.

Strike 2: rider flagged down (again) for overloading image

“What a pickup truck bed can accommodate fitted into a motorcycle. Now do the Math, overloaded ba o hindi (is it overloaded or not)?” said Nebrija on his social media post.

What’s worse, the rider was literally “taped” on the motorcycle, so that they could squeeze and fit all the vegetable cargo on his bike. The cargo, in total, was so great for a motorcycle that it was able to fit in the large pickup bed of one of MMDA’s patrol vehicles.

Di nya madukot yung phone nya (to call a friend) kasi pati sya nakatape sa motor. Paano mo nagawa yan? Itinali po ako ng kargador (The rider was not able to get his mobile phone because he was also taped to the motorcycle. How was this possible? [we asked and the rider responded] that he was taped by a porter).”

Sadly - and quite surprisingly - this was not the first time that the rider was apprehended due to overloading his motorcycle.

Unsafe cargo

As discussed in one of our feature stories, “What’s considered overloading?”, carrying cargo that goes beyond your motorcycle’s registered capacity or dimensions is considered dangerous and is a traffic offense.

As a rule of thumb, you cannot carry anything that exceeds the motorcycle's Net Capacity, which is written on the motorcycle’s Certificate of Registration (CR). Exceeding this limit will be considered by the authorities as overloading.

This figure is usually half of the Gross Vehicle Weight of the motorcycle. Also, take note that this figure is only for the cargo. Most motorcycles that are used for road use are also designed to carry one (1) pillion rider.

In Quezon City, for example, they have an ordinance specifically prohibiting overloading in motorcycles. Ordinance No. SP-2467, S-2015, prescribes the dimensions, as well as how cargo should be secured on a motorcycle. If found in violation, a rider can be fined up to PhP 3,000 plus possible revocation of his or her driver’s license.

Road safety is non-negotiable

As mentioned above, we can hustle and work hard to make ends meet but it is not at all an excuse to undermine our safety on the road – that means everyone’s safety. Just a slight miscalculation could have devastating results if a motorcycle is overloaded such as the one above. As Nebrija said earlier, “road safety is non-negotiable.”