THE freedom to travel safely and conveniently from one place to another is God-given and constitutional right of every citizen in this country. Our ability to choose the means of transportation, may it be public or private, depends on our individual capacity so long as it will not compromise self-preservation and arriving to our destinations on time. Though we are given the liberty to travel in any form of passage we choose, this independence however must be strictly regulated for it may pose danger not only to motorists but also to our pedestrians on the streets.
The advent of motorcycles as primary means of transportation especially within the city addresses the basic concern of worsening gridlock in our major thoroughfares. Without taking notice of it, motorcycles nowadays compromise almost half of the machines travelling our streets. How does our local traffic enforcers regulate and control the use of motorcycles? Are we implementing the law in accordance to its provisions or the implementation is selective for the convenience of the implementors?
Pretty much, everyone has noticed how these motorcycles snake through the busy streets of Cagayan de Oro without much consideration to the safety of other motorists. And most often than not, the passenger(s) of these single motorcycles do not wear basic protective gear such as helmets. Or worst, the motorcycle itself is way overloaded.
Republic Act No. 10054 Section 2 states that, “all motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, shall at all times wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway.”
It is blatantly stated here that at all times helmet is to be worn once motorcycle riders drive be it near or far is the destination. How come here in our city, there are still motorcycle riders who do not abide with this policy? IT IS NOT SAFE to drive these motorcycles without protective gears. Motorcycle accidents can be caused by various factors, from single to multiple vehicle. These are from nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/motorcycle-accidents-common-causes-30330.html, scene 1: Head-on collisions between a car and motorcycle are often fatal to the motorcyclist. Scene 2: When cars are making left-hand turns. Usually, the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcycle is: going straight through an intersection, passing the car, or trying to overtake the car. These types of accidents are common between two cars as well, but the motorcycle's smaller size makes it even less visible to the turning vehicle. Motorcycles that pass cars within the same lane are even more vulnerable --cars don't expect, and are often surprised by, such motorcycle maneuvers. Scene 3: Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, usually in traffic jams. Lane splitting is a common cause of motorcycle accidents due to several factors: the close proximity of the cars to the motorcycle, the reduced space the motorcycle has to maneuver, and the fact that the cars don't anticipate that any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic. Scene 4: Motorcycles colliding with fixed objects accounts for motorcyclist deaths. Again, because the motorcyclist is not surrounded by a box of metal and is likely to be thrown far and hard, such accidents are more deadly when riding a motorcycle. Scene 5: Motorcycles face higher dangers from road hazards than do cars and other vehicles. Due to the smaller size and less stable nature of the motorcycle, potholes, dead animals, slick pavement conditions, uneven heights between lanes, and other irregularities or unexpected objects in the road pose a serious safety threat to motorcycles.
According to LTO Administrative Order No. AHS-2008-013: Motorcycles follow the same speed limits as cars: 80 kph on open country roads with no blind corners; 40 kph on “through streets” or roads clear of traffic and without blind corners; 30 kph if there’s light traffic and it’s not a through street; 20 kph everywhere else; and passengers, who are often referred to as back-riders, is limited to one. Moreover, according to R.A. 10666 or the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015, children are not allowed to ride a motorcycle on public roads with either heavy traffic volume, has a lot of fast-moving vehicles, or where speeds more than 60 kph are allowed unless: the child can comfortably rest his/her feet on the foot peg, the child’s arms can reach around and grasp the waist of the driver, the child has a helmet, or the child is in dire need of medical attention.
Factors such as speed, road surface and conditions, rider ability and skill, intoxication, fatigue, weather, visibility, motorcycle condition, other vehicles and road users, etc. are vital elements that need to be pointed out and be clear to all motorcycle riders. Accidents result in injuries or loss of life, and being aware will help prevent these by highlighting the cause factor. The wear of correct riding gear also plays a vital role in injury prevention. Is it that difficult to protect oneself?
Paging RTA, LTO, DOTr and other attached agency who are mandated for the implementation of this Act should be vigilant in enforcing this to avoid road accidents.
Motorcycle riders, please heed to these policies and make us all be safe in using our roads.