IN JUST 45 days, the Cebu City traffic enforcers apprehended 16,248 individuals for jaywalking on Jan. 1-Feb. 14, 2020.
This an increase of 420.49 percent from 3,074 persons apprehended in the same period in 2019, according to the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).
The CCTO collected P872,400 in fines in the first 45 days of 2020.
CCTO Operations Chief Erwin Navales said most of the violators were caught near Metro Colon, 138 Mall and Colonnade Mall on Colon St. Other jaywalkers were apprehended near Robinsons Fuente and SM City Cebu in Barangay Mabolo.
Traffic enforcers caught 11,072 individuals last January and 5,176 in the first of February, said Navales, who used to head the CCTO’s parking and jaywalking section. Of the apprehended individuals, 1,250 opted not to pay the fine and chose to undergo seminar.
The CCTO has been strictly implementing Cebu City Ordinance 1814, or the Anti-Jaywalking Ordinance. Navales said most of the violators were non-Cebu City residents who were not aware of the ordinance.
Other violators were city residents who knew about the ordinance and chose to ignore it, said Navales.
The CCTO official further said several road incidents were caused by persons who did not cross the pedestrian lane or opted not to use the skywalk.
A violator has two options: he either has to pay the P50 fine or render a two-hour community service.
Before the CCTO will release a violator, the traffic enforcer educate the violator about the purpose of pedestrian lane, a part of the public road where pedestrians cross. The traffic rule states that motorists approaching a pedestrian lane must slow down their vehicles or stop if there are pedestrians in the middle of the lane.
When the violator chooses community service, the violator will undergo a four-hour seminar and clean the vicinity of the CCTO headquarters in Barangay Cogon Ramos.
Navales said there are exemptions from the ordinance such as senior citizens and pregnant women as they need guidance in crossing the street.
As to the person who commits jaywalking as he is in a rush to buy a medicine for a sick relative, Navales the person must show the prescription as proof.
“When you cross anytime or anywhere, there is accident,” Navales said. (USJ-R journalism intern Mae Fhel Gom-os)