Sunday, March 24, 2019

Actress loses driver's license after Asean lane stunt

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) has revoked the non-professional driver's license of actress and beauty queen Maria Isabel Lopez Yokohama for violating several traffic laws after she used a priority lane reserved for delegates to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit earlier this month.

Yokohama, who boasted about having been able to use the Asean priority lane, was also disqualified from applying for a driver's license in the next two years. She may be granted a license only "upon showing that she may again safely be permitted to operate a motor vehicle."

She was further ordered to pay a total fine of P8,000, as follows: P1,000 for "disregarding traffic signs," P2,000 for reckless driving, and P5,000 for violation of Republic Act No. 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.

In a resolution issued on November 23, 2017 and made public on Monday, November 27, LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante said Yokohama is "an improper person to operate a motor vehicle."

He ordered the Law Enforcement Service to furnish copies of the resolution to all LTO regional offices, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group.

Yokohama was directed to surrender her non-professional driver's license, with expiry date on September 19, 2018, within 24 hours after receipt of a copy of the resolution.

In her November 11, 2017 Facebook post, Yokohama admitted that she removed the divider cones or traffic barriers that were installed to “reserve” priority lanes for Asean delegates.

She also said several motorists took advantage of what she did and followed suit.

“Driving with hazards 'on' at the #aseanlane. I removed the divider!! Then all the other motorists behind me followed! MMDA thinks I’m an official ASEAN delegate! If you can't beat ‘em, join them! #nosticker #leadership #belikemaria #pasaway #selfpreservation," Lopez posted.

The MMDA filed the complaint against Yokohama before the LTO. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)
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