Stop those seat belt, helmet apprehensions

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


LAST weekend we were in Dumaguete City with some media friends to be part of the gathering of more than 200 big bikers from Ormoc, Bohol, Cebu, Tacloban, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, Dapitan and Davao.

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For our week-long stay in Dumaguete City, we did not witness any vehicular accident. Tricycles give way to private cars and the other way around. They have a good sense of defensive driving attitude.

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In Dumaguete City, there is no strict enforcement of the wearing of safety helmets. Motorcycle is a general mode of transport in that city. We see police patrolling the roads and police aides manning the streets.

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We did not see Land Transportation Office (LTO) personnel shocking drivers and apprehending them because of not wearing safety belts or safety helmets.

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In a coffee talk at a mall here, seven coffee addicts discussed this topic. A golfer said that this law on safety belt and helmets are not supposed to be the priority of the LTO. The LTO should apprehend those illegal tricycles that are not licensed with their drivers also unlicensed, he said. If a driver does not wear his seat belt and gets injured then that is his personal problem. And this is also true for the safety helmet, he added.

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But if a tricycle driver whose vehicle is not insured and not registered with the LTO or Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board then that is mortal sin, said the car salesman. This is so because tricycles in municipalities and cities ply the riding public and these vehicles and drivers should be licensed, passing the exams as required, a real estate broker said.

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An angry retired banker said, “How I hate this country because the public servants are the abusive ones; the LTO vehicles can violate traffic laws; the police cars can park anywhere; police and traffic personnel disobey by not wearing motorcycle helmets; police cars do not have car plates; the rich and famous who own luxury vehicles can buy special plates from LTO.”

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Sad to say, even those who rob the Filipino taxpayers and get jailed live in luxurious manner in jail while the one who stole a bag of rice to feed his family is now languishing in jail with a non-aircon prison cell, said the broker.

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The LTO better stop the apprehension of violators of safety belts and safety helmets law because they are found to be a fund-raising activity of government, the golfer believes. Why does the LTO not apprehend those public utility vehicles that have non-functioning stop lights and brake lights; overloading of passengers in the evening; unlicensed public utility vehicles and those tricycle drivers whose tricycles are not insured and is hazard to life, added the insurance salesman.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 10, 2014.

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