60-day loss for drivers caught in ‘crisis’ area

THE Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) will impound for 60 days all vehicles caught counter-flowing on roads surrounding the underpass project on a portion of N. Bacalso Ave.

In an interview, CCTO operations chief Francisco Ouano said that Mayor Tomas Osmeña gave the order to alleviate traffic congestion in the depressed area. It began to take effect yesterday.

Osmeña made the announcement in his official Facebook page last Monday, July 9.

“N. Bacalso’s traffic is bad enough already. We do not need people breaking the law to make it even worse. Any vehicle caught counterflowing in N. Bacalso or the surrounding streets (F. Llamas, Sabellano, Elorde, etc.) will be impounded for 60 days or until the underpass is finished, whichever is later,” he said.

Last February, Osmeña signed Executive Order (EO) 34, which penalizes motorists who counter-flow or drive in the wrong lane against oncoming traffic. It provides that all vehicles, including motorcycles, that are caught counter-flowing will be impounded for 30 days. Second offenders’ vehicles will be impounded for 60 days.

In his news conference yesterday, the mayor told reporters that he will sign a separate EO solely for the traffic situation on access roads near N. Bacalso.

He called the vicinity of the underpass project a “critical area.”

But should the measure fail, the mayor said the City Government may have to ban private cars from plying N. Bacalso at certain times of the day as a last resort.

“That’s the last, if all else fails. What I will consider is to ban private cars one hour in the morning, and one hour in the afternoon, so everyone will just have to try to go in between those times para sakay ka nalang sa jeepney. We will exempt taxi and we will exempt vans full of people,” he added.

Aside from this, Osmeña wants to set up a team to immediately assist cars that break down in the area to avoid causing more traffic.

He said he has instructed City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention head Garry Lao to set up a mechanic team composed of tanods, among others. (RTF)


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