The past few months have been very busy for the LTO and the HPG, apprehending traffic violators, particularly colorum vans (UV Express), jeepneys and buses, smoke belching vehicles, and erring motorcycle riders. Among those apprehended were motorcycles fitted with certain modifications, which have been serving as a bone of contention for both riders and enforcers. Among those accessories confiscated were auxiliary LED lighting systems, aftermarket mufflers, aftermarket side mirrors, upgraded brakes, which some riders content are compliant with the LTO Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) guidelines.
These guidelines are outlined in two official documents recognized by the LTO: LTO Administrative Order No. ACL 2009-018; the DOTC-LTO-LTFRB Joint Administrative Order 2014-01, and LTO Memorandum dated March 15, 2016 with a subject: Rules and Regulations Concerning Motorcycle Lights. To save you time from perusing the entire document, below are summaries of its stipulations:
All motor vehicles should have side mirrors, one on each side, that enable a driver to recognize clearly the traffic conditions
Headlamps must illuminate in white or yellow and cannot have a blinker mode.
Motorcycles must have only one brake lamp, which illuminate when the brakes are applied. When operating in combination with a tail lamp, its luminous intensity may increase 5 times or stronger. It must illuminate in red and cannot have a blinker mode.
Turn Signal Lights
Turn signal lights must be yellow, amber, or orange only.
Fog lamps are optional. They must be white or selective-yellow in color. If they are installed, they may only be used in thick fog, falling snow, heavy rain or similar conditions. Motorcycles may only have one (1) front fog lamp. They must be installed below the passing lamps [turn signals]. They must have their own switches, independent from the main beam headlamps.
Each auxiliary headlamp should be wired independently and have separate switches. They must be white or selective-yellow in color. They must not be operated in well-lit streets within the limits of the cities, municipalities, and thickly populated barrios... A maximum of two (2) auxiliary or supplementary lights/lamps are allowed; a maximum of six (6) bulbs per auxiliary or supplementary light/lamp is allowed and shall not be combined as one or installed or placed side by side as a bar. The must not be installed higher than the handlebars of a motorcycle or scooter. Auxiliary or supplementary lights/lamps cannot be used as replacements to the headlamp.
*Use of LED / HID bulbs is allowed so long as it adheres to the abovementioned.
Number Plate Lights
Each motorcycle must have two number plate lights. They must illuminate in white, activate when the headlamps are turned on, and must render the plate number clearly visible at night.
All motor vehicles should have an exhaust/muffler system composed of the primary muffler or the silencer, secondary muffler and catalytic converter (if applicable). The exhaust pipe should be secured. The sound level of the exhaust must not exceed 115 dB measured at a distance of 2 meters from the source.
The Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) suggests the following actions when apprehended for fitting illegal accessories:
- Make sure that as a motorcycle rider, you are in compliance with the regulations set by the LTO on auxiliary lights, LED lights, [modifications] and mufflers. Strictly NO racing mufflers (as they have never been street legal). MRO reserves the right to [refuse] help to erring motorcycle riders who are in violation of the said guidelines.
- Refuse the order to remove your accessories. Let the apprehending officer(s) remove the accessories from your motorcycle. Tell the apprehending officer that they are the ones who should remove them if they are confiscating because as far as the LTO is concerned, you are within the set regulations.
- If the apprehending officer(s) removed/ confiscated your accessories, [have a] video record the incident.
- Do not sign the Voluntary Confiscation Receipt. The only thing that you are going to sign will be the LTO issued ticket (violation ticket) but before you do, make sure to indicate “FOR CONTEST”.
- Send the MRO the video and copy of your ticket as soon as possible.
If there are irregularities and existing laws are not complied with at the ground level, it will be the Congress who will file lawsuit against these apprehending officers (Grave Misconduct, Abuse of Authority and Illegal Apprehension) at NAPOLCOM.
Do not argue with the apprehending officers. There is always a proper/ lawful venue for contesting the apprehension.
If it’s an ordinance violation that doesn’t require accessories confiscation, you have to file at the town/ city’s adjudication office.