Monday, May 28, 2012

Bill seeks motorbike lanes on toll ways

..Motorcyclists may soon have their own lanes on toll roads in and out of Metro Manila if a bill filed by Cagayan Representative Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. is passed into law. Enrile said the measure will help workers living outside Manila save on transportation costs when commuting to and from work. Citing data from the Land Transportation Office, Enrile said at least 46,051 new motorcycle registrations were processed in the first quarter of 2011 alone. The majority of those new registrations were by "workers residing in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna but are working in the neighboring city center which is Metro Manila," he said. He said that with road congestion and high fuel costs, motorcycles are more fuel-efficient and easier to maneuver in traffic. "Despite these advantages, the motorcycles are considered one of the high-risk vehicles. In 2011, motorcycle use accounted for 2,788 accidents in the country's major highways and toll roads. This is due to insufficient rules and regulations governing motorcycle use along national roads, highways and toll ways," Enrile said. His proposal will designate a motorcycle lane on the extreme right of toll roads. The lanes will be half the width of regular car lanes and will be delineated by thick white lane markers. "The toll gate situated at the extreme right of the toll roads is designated for the sole use of motorcycles. Motorcycle operators are prohibited from using the express lanes located on the left-most toll gates," he said. Enrile's bill covers major toll roads to Manila from Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna and will give motorcycles with a displacement of at least 100cc access to the motorcycle lanes. Small motorcycles will have access to the lanes up to 100 kilometers from Manila. Farther than that, and the lanes will be restricted to motorcycles with displacements of at least 400cc. According to the Toll Regulatory Board, which has jurisdiction over the Philippine toll roads, there are three toll roads in and out of Manila: the North Luzon Expressway, South Luzon Expressway and the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road Expressway. Although Enrile's bill does not have a counterpart proposal at the Senate, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada has filed a related bill, which requires motorcycle lanes on all national, provincial, city and municipal roads. ..