RTA to go easy on erring motorist during Lent

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Sunday, April 13, 2014


PEDESTRIANS and motorists can rest easy during the Holy Week as the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) will refrain from arresting violators of road rules.

Lawyer Edgardo Uy, RTA overseer and chief of the Task Force Hapsay Dalan (TFHD), said traffic enforces will be considerate to those who commit violations on road rules in time for Lent.

“Dili namo sila ipa-penitensya,” Uy said, referring to the penalties and fines that erring drivers and pedestrians may be facing for committing infractions, especially around Divisoria where the RTA has strictly imposed traffic rules.

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Beginning March this year, TFHD and RTA launched a campaign to restore order in the city’s streets by apprehending jaywalkers and motorists who don’t obey traffic rules, within Divisoria as it has been its pilot area.

The traffic body also put up additional pedestrian lanes and “yellow boxes” (loading and unloading areas) in Divisoria to ensure that violators of traffic rules are lessened if not eradicated.

He said the RTA would not apprehend but only remind people where to cross or park their vehicles.

He added signs and rails would be installed in certain areas of the city to ensure that motorists will be guided during the holidays.

People who are not mindful of these signs and rails will be told to comply, failure to do so, Uy said, the RTA has no choice but to impose the law.

Uy said some 160 RTA personnel would be deployed to areas where the Roman Catholic devotees will converge on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Executive orders

To ensure strict enforcement of traffic rules during observance of the holy days, Uy said City Mayor Oscar Moreno issued executive orders 040-2014 and 037-2014.

On Executive Order 037, Moreno has instructed the RTA to set up temporary special traffic scheme in Malasag, Barangay Cugman and the road going to the Guadalupe shrine in Barangay Tablon.

Both Malasag and Guadalupe are expected to draw in thousands of devotees starting on the evening of Maundy Thursday well into Good Friday to hold Stations of the Cross or to make a holy pilgrimage of sorts to this site.

The order specified the following: no parking of all vehicles on either side along the national highway in Cugman, 150 meters on both ends from the corner of Malasag road; loading and unloading for all types of motor vehicles and parallel parking are allowed only after the no parking zone; vehicles are not allowed to enter the Malasag road except for the vehicles of the mayor, city officials, parish priest, media, residents living along the area, as well as mobile patrols of the Philippine National Police (PNP), military, RTA, the local government unit of Cugman, fire trucks, government ambulance, and other vehicles allowed by the RTA.

Except for the no-entry order, all other regulations embodied in the order will also be applied in Tablon.

Under Executive Order 040, Moreno has instructed the RTA to close temporarily on April 20 from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. portions of Capistrano, T. Chavez, Fernandez, Tiano Brothers, Rizal and Gaerlan streets, for the Easter Sunday activities.

A special permit for the religious gathering on April 20 signed by Roy Hilario Raagas, city administrator, specified that peace and order, cleanliness and public safety will be maintained, and that no pyrotechnics, flammable materials and explosives will be used during the activity.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 14, 2014.

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