There's a new photo/ post that is circulating among various motorcycle groups on social media lately and it claims that toll operators are now allowing motorcycles 200cc and above “as long as it resembles the look of a sportbike”.
“Pinapalusot na daw po talaga nila (expressways) ang R3, Ninja 250 [at] RC 200, (The tollways are now allowing entry to Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 250 and KTM RC 200 models)” said the post, which was forwarded to us by one of our concerned readers who requested to remain anonymous. It further added in Filipino that, the tollways are allowing such as long as the motorcycles resemble a fully-faired sport bike and there should be no problem whatsoever.
The photo circulating in various motorcycle social media groups, as sent to us by one of our readers.
MotoPinas.com has confirmed with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) that the said post was in fact, NOT TRUE. This may lead to confusion and costly fines among motorcycle riders who will dare to enter the restricted tollways in their sub-400cc motorcycles.
“As far as the Toll Regulatory Board is concerned, motorcycles with engine displacement below 400cc are [still] prohibited in all expressways.” The TRB is the government agency that regulates all toll roads and restrictions within them in the Philippines.
They further added that they will look into the matter and possibly prosecute those behind the spreading of this fake news.
Perhaps in the future
The TRB has expressed their interest in looking into lowering the minimum displacement requirement for motorcycles last October, citing advances in technology that already allow motorcycles with smaller engines to easily maintain expressways speeds.
TRB executive director, Abraham Sales, has said in Filipino that “the technology is different these days. Like in cars, for example, engines with smaller displacements can also attain the performance of those with bigger engines.”
The expressway ban can be traced back as far as the 1960s when a police motorcycle escort for visiting US President, Richard Nixon, figured in a fatal crash in the South Superhighway, now called SLEx. That fateful day triggered the DPWH's predecessor, Department of Public Works and Communications, to issue an administrative order declaring the tollways as “limited access highways,” which included the total ban of all types of motorcycles, regardless of displacement on tollways.
After a court battle in 2001 which declared the motorcycle ban on tollways as illegal, DPWH issued Department Order 123, limiting the tollways ban to motorcycles with engine displacements of 400cc and above – the prevalent big bike displacement at the time.
For now, let's just follow the current regulations to avoid hefty fines and prevent the "kamote" misconception from spreading.