RTA to penalize erring drivers, passengers soon

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Friday, January 24, 2014


DRIVERS and passengers are warned to follow traffic rules else face penalties on violations as the Road and Traffic Administration (RTA) begins its campaign on strengthening the ‘hapsay dalan’ project.

Public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers who violate the loading and unloading areas will be fined including passengers who disembark at random.

A penalty of P500 equivalent to a half-day community service will be meted out to both violators, RTA first district supervisor Melchor Luna said.

Luna observed that drivers have been loading and unloading passengers anywhere causing traffic congestion, especially along the Carmen market where he is assigned to supervise.

“It is high time we discipline erring drivers, pedestrians and including the riding public by strictly implementing the Traffic Code Compliant Zone (TCCZ) system in the city,” Luna said.

Jeepneys should load and unload only in designated areas where yellow boxes serve as markers, Luna said.

Luna said this policy has not been fully implemented as the RTA is waiting for the weather to improve so they can paint the yellow boxes.

“In Carmen where I (supervise), the new policy has already been implemented,” Luna said.

Luna recalled one time he caught a passenger who disembarked in the middle of the street in Carmen and warned both the driver and passenger while informing them of the penalties.

“I told the driver that it is his responsibility if something will happen to the passengers as they get off from his jeepney for they are holding a professional (driver’s) license,” Luna said.

“Dili magpa-dominate (driver) sa pasahero. Kung mabanggaan negligence sa part sa driver dapat i-safety nga lugar,” Luna added.

Luna said the second time the violation is committed, drivers will be charged with a fine of P3,000.

He said the full implementation of the TCCZ will take effect next week if the weather will continue to improve.

Luna assures the public to expect more traffic policies to be implemented soon.

Meanwhile, Edgardo Uy, city traffic overseer, said the loading and unloading policy is just part of the TCCZ that they will enforce.

Jaywalking for pedestrians and parking anywhere will also be penalized.

Visible traffic signs will be set up for drivers and the public so they become aware of the traffic rules.

Uy said the TCCZ is a collaborative effort involving various sectors in the city that desire to have long-term solutions against traffic congestion.

As part of the implementation of the TCCZ system, the team will have a massive public information drive, Uy said.

Uy said first-time violators on jaywalking, loading and unloading and illegal parking will be warned and issued a ticket to remind them not to commit the same violations again.

He said penalties will be meted out to second-time offenders.

For their part, passengers are agreeable to the enforcement of the traffic rules.

Trisha Mae Igot, 18, a student at Xavier University, said she is not yet aware of the TCCZ.

Igot said the RTA should first educate the public before they will fully implement the system.

Adrian Tagle, 40, agreed on the idea to penalize passengers who think they are the “owners of the streets.”

Tagle said this is the first time in the city where a traffic system will be imposed.

Lovely Dale de Loos said the RTA should also set up a “shame box” like the one in Cebu city where all violators caught will be temporarily keep in custody.

De Loos said the shame box will allow people to see the faces of jaywalking violators and would warn others to strictly follow pedestrian crossing.

Trina Guibone, a teacher, said, “discipline should start with our children.”

“We must instill (in) their young minds the traffic system we want them to uphold. Repetition of learning is perhaps the greatest tool to traffic discipline,” Guibone said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 24, 2014.

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