Motorcycle barrier may compromise driver, back-rider safety

THE Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) has requested the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Covid-19 to reconsider or review its policy requiring barriers for back-riding.

In a memorandum dated on July 23, the Minda stated that the policy is "impractical," and that the barrier is expensive, oppressive and discriminatory.

"The policy is deemed impractical because it does not serve its intended purpose of protecting the motorcycle rider from any supposed transmission of infectious disease," Minda stated.

"Rather, it would only be a present danger to both the rider and the back-rider since it would be difficult for them to adjust with a contraption in between them," it added.

Minda said that the use of barriers could lead to an increase in the number of vehicular accidents as it would be difficult for the rider to maneuver the motorcycle.

The agency further said that the motorcycle barrier policy is an added financial burden, adding that it will affect efforts to restart the economy in Mindanao as well as in other rural areas in the country where the motorcycle is the main vehicle for transport and livelihood.

"We support the IATF's effort to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus but surely, there are other ways of doing it other than implementing measures which would make life more difficult for our people," Minda stated.

The Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers Inc. (PSME) has also remarked that the barrier cannot serve as a health and safety measure to protect the riders from Covid-19 and instead, it may compromise safety, health, economy and the environment.

In their position paper on the motorcycle barrier, the PSME said that when the motorcycle is in motion, the barrier will contribute to the change of the designed allowable aerodynamic forces (drag and lift) which will compromise the stability of the motorcycle.

This will place the safety of riders at risk, it added.

The PSME further said that with the barrier attached when the motorcycle is in motion, the front side of the barrier builds up pressure while creating turbulence and suction behind the barrier.

This will not guarantee that the barrier will be effective in protecting both riders from the spread of air particles to each other.

As the air resistance of the motorcycle increases when in motion, this will result to increase in fuel consumption which contributes to the increase in emission and air pollutants which ultimately affects the environment.

Meanwhile, the deadline for motorcycle riders to comply with the motorcycle barrier policy was moved to July 26.


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