I HAVE been to Arayat town very recently and never did I see any child or minor backriding or driving a motorcycle. This is an observation as the town's Sangguniang Bayan has enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 10 s. 2019 that is aimed at adopting Republic Act 10666 or the Children's Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015.
The said national law or the Republic Act sanctions those drivers who allow children, particularly those toddlers or kids, who cannot stand their feet on the ground while atop a motorcycle. This law, although it is widely violated, has good intention of protecting children from vehicular accidents involving motorcycles.
Despite the existence of such law of the land, it is often disregarded or is unknown to many motorcycle riders. If we observe, some "families" indiscriminately ride motorcycles regardless of the risk of children meeting mishaps.
With the great number of accidents involving motorcycles in the country, we all know how high is the risk of every ride especially for children who are very much vulnerable to being hurt, injured or end up lifeless.
In many instances, we can see a man and a woman riding two-wheeled motorized vehicles and "sandwiched" in between them is a child. In some cases, kids ride on the back of motorcycles where the risk of falling is extant.
In addition to the sight of such dangerous riding is the lack of protective gears for motorcycle riders, including the basic headgear or helmet. If adults need to wear helmets during their ride, so much so with children who are made exposed to head injuries.
In Arayat, the adoption of the said national law gives more focus and attention on the implementation of the said Republic Act. Such localization of the law gives it more sharp teeth in implementing such rule. It gives law enforcers more legal basis to apprehend violators and impose appropriate penalties for the violation.
The said ordinance carries a fine of P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 for the second offense and P10,000, including the suspension of license for 1 month for the third offense. Such imposition of penalties can even help the municipality in raising revenues. If many motorcycle are caught violating and penalized, great amount of fines can go into the coffers of the municipality.
When I am on the road and see such sight of children being allowed to ride motorcycles or even drive them, I cannot help except to think of "responsible parenthood" that is missing from the kids' parents or guardians. In the first place, it's a given fact that there is a great number of motorcycle accidents in the country which have already claimed thousands of lives since the increase in the number of riders on roads.
Such municipal ordinance of Arayat is worthy of emulation.
In a few days, we shall be experiencing "carmaggedon" in all our expressways, major highways and local roads that lead to cemeteries and memorial parks for the yearly observance of "Undas." Our remembering of our departed loved ones is a manifestation of Filipinos' close family ties.
As we troop to memorial places, let us remember them and bring them candles, flowers and prayers. This is an opportune time to remember them when they were living as we offer them prayers for their souls.
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