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Monday, September 16, 2019

Briones: Getting tough on ‘erring’ motorists

I CAN see where the Mandaue City Government is coming from when it came up with an ordinance that prohibits motorcycle drivers and, I assume, passengers, from wearing any head covering and full-faced helmets when passing by the city.

Several shooting incidents and robberies have been attributed to culprits who could not be identified because their faces were concealed.

Of course, I doubt Mayor Luigi Quisumbing has ever ridden a motorcycle even though his family owns the Norkis group of companies. Otherwise, he’d understand why some motorcycle drivers prefer to cover their heads fully.

Majority of drivers who do this do so because they want to protect themselves from the elements.

After all, dust and direct exposure to sunlight can wreak havoc on the complexion, and I’m sure no motorcycle driver would want to have that. What with prices of moisturizers going up.

But kidding aside, face masks protect drivers or commuters from getting respiratory illnesses.

Mandaue is home to many factories that belch out all sorts of smoke containing all sorts of chemicals not to mention the smoke coming from the exhaust of the many trucks that ply the city streets. Add to this the various viruses, microorganisms and the dust found in the air.

Department of Health 7 Director Jaime Bernadas knows all too well what this heady concoction can do to a person’s health. But hey, when security is concerned, health can always take a backseat.
Right?
“I hope the people who pass by Mandaue City will understand that my number one priority is everyone’s safety,” the mayor said earlier this week.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that motorcycle drivers or passengers whose faces are exposed wouldn’t or couldn’t commit crimes.

That might explain why, across the Mactan Channel, the Lapu-Lapu City Government decided to leave the practice alone, and instead go after motorcycle riders who don’t wear the right helmet, those who drive with loud motorcycle pipes, and those who drive while in slippers.

Republic Act 10054 requires all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets that bear the Philippine Standard mark or Import Commodity Clearance of the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) and comply with the standards set by the BPS.

So those black plastic thingies that some people put on their heads won’t do.

As for the loud motorcycle pipes, I don’t know if President Duterte already signed the Muffler Act of 2016, or the Anti-Noise Pollution Law, which has been approved by both houses.

The law aims to ban the sale and use of mufflers that are deemed too “noisy.”

Either way, it’s a public nuisance and violators should be apprehended, although a colleague told me that it has one good use.

He said a noisy muffler informs other motorists of the presence of a motorcycle, while waking up the whole neighborhood in the process.

However, I have to put my foot down on the ban on the wearing of slippers.

I looked it up and there’s no specific law regarding the matter, only an administrative order from the Land Transportation Office.

Maybe Mayor Paz Radaza has an aversion to looking at naked feet.
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