Wednesday, February 15, 2012

News Update 1,403 bikers caught not using EDSA's blue lane

MANILA, Philippines - Traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) flagged down 1,403 motorcyclists as of 5 p.m. yesterday for not using the designated motorcycle lanes along EDSA.
Yesterday was the first day of the weeklong dry run of EDSA’s motorcycle lanes.
According to the MMDA, of those apprehended and given the 15-minute roadside safety lectures, 160 were stopped at Roxas Boulevard, 693 at San Simon, 52 at Timog Avenue, 297 at White Plains, and 201 at Orense street near the main office of the MMDA in Makati City.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino personally opened the designated motorcycle lanes along EDSA at around 6 a.m. yesterday at Orense street.
He said during the dry-run, motorcyclists caught not using the segregated lanes – marked in blue paint – will not be issued traffic violation receipts, but will be made to undergo a 15-minute road safety seminar handled by expert motorcycle riders.
According to the MMDA, the fourth lane from the right was designated as the motorcycle lane.
Tolentino said that of EDSA’s five lanes (in one direction), the fourth lane from the sidewalk is the safest lane for motorcycles to use based on an MMDA study. The first two lanes of EDSA (going in one direction) from the sidewalk are for use by public utility vehicles and trucks with the third and fifth as “fast lanes” for private vehicles.
Tolentino said private vehicles could still use the motorcycle lanes as these are “non-exclusive” lanes. Buses and other public utility vehicles are not allowed to use the blue lanes.
“I am appealing to the private motorists using the motorcycle lanes to observe maximum tolerance for motorcycle riders to avoid any accident,” Tolentino said.
The mayors of Metro Manila – comprising the Metro Manila Council, the policy-making arm of the MMDA – approved the creation of motorcycle lanes on EDSA when it passed Memorandum Circular 12-01 last month.
MMDA statistics showed that at least 6,559 motorcycles travel along EDSA’s northbound lane and at least 5,173 travel along the southbound lane each day.
Similar motorcycle lanes have been marked by the MMDA along Commonwealth Avenue and along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.
After the dry run has lapsed, Tolentino said MMDA traffic enforcers along EDSA will also start apprehending motorcyclists who are not wearing helmets, those wearing slippers, driving while intoxicated and using cell phones.
Tolentino said traffic enforcers would also apprehend persons driving motorcycles without headlights or license plates and those who will carry more than one passenger.
Motorcyclists caught driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs will be made to pay a P2,000 fine; those using a mobile phone while driving, P200; without helmets for both driver and passenger, P150; overloading, P150; and engaging in reckless driving, P500. - By Mike Frialde