No penalty for SUV driver that blocked motorcyclists from counterflowing in Mandaue

No penalty for SUV driver that blocked motorcyclists from counterflowing in Mandaue
Screenshots from Mark Suico Gigremosa's video

AN OFFICIAL of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) acknowledged that the SUV driver who attempted to block motorcycles from counterflowing in his lane on JP Rizal Street in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City on Thursday, February 29, 2024, helped remind motorists to follow traffic rules.

But Hyl Retuya, the assistant department head of Team, noted that the driver's action was risky and reckless.

In a media interview on Friday, March 1, Retuya said they will not penalize the SUV driver.

The reason behind this decision was the belief that the driver intended to remove the counterflowing motorcycles, which is considered a traffic violation.

"Naa sad gyud sya'y punto sad gyud ato kay usa sad, iya man gyud tong right of way sad gyud. Dili gyud to iya sa kadtong mga motor kay mao ganing ni counterflow sila kay nikawat ra man to," said Retuya.

(He has the right of way. The motorbikes just counterflowed by stealing a portion of the SUV's lane.)

Retuya said the lane along JP Rizal Street is a solid lane, which means vehicles are not allowed to counterflow.

According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) driving manual, a solid lane may come with a solid white or yellow line.

A solid white line is known as the center or separation line, and crossing it requires special care and is discouraged. On the other hand, a single solid yellow line means overtaking is prohibited in both directions.

The agency defined counterflow as a motorist going out of their respective lane and moving against the flow of traffic, which is considered a traffic offense.

Overtaking means temporarily switching lanes to get ahead of another motorist but eventually returning to their original lane.

The LTO said overtaking is not considered a traffic offense as long as it follows the standard 500-foot visual requirement, where the overtaking vehicle must not meet another vehicle on the way within the given radius.

Retuya advised motorcycle riders, especially those who frequently travel through Mandaue roads, to remain in the outer lane.

He said the inner lanes are reserved for fast-moving vehicles like SUVs, trucks, and other four-wheeled vehicles, while the outer lane is intended for slow-moving vehicles such as motorcycles.

According to Retuya, motorists in Mandaue have a habit of counterflowing and tailgating.

Tailgating is when drivers follow closely behind another vehicle without leaving a safe distance.

He said this often happens when ambulances are passing, and some drivers take advantage of the emergency vehicle's right of way to quickly reach their destinations.

The Mandaue Team imposes a citation ticket worth P1,000 for drivers who are caught counterflowing or tailgating.

Counterflowing is normal but not okay

Mark Suico Gigremosa, the person who uploaded the video on Facebook, said the incident occurred in the early morning of Thursday, February 29.

He said the SUV in question appeared to have attempted to hit every motorcycle that was counterflowing in front of its lane.

Gigremosa said he posted the video to raise awareness, stressing that the action of the SUV driver could have put the following vehicles in danger, including the motorcycle riders who were counterflowing.

The video he uploaded on Facebook sparked mixed reactions from netizens, with some taking sides with the SUV driver, and the others with the counterflowing motorcyclists.

While he said counterflowing is considered "normal" for riders who are trying to reach their destination quickly, Gigremosa acknowledged that it is still not the right thing to do.

He encouraged his fellow drivers to drive with a wider perspective and understanding while on the road.

Follow traffic rules

Retuya reminded motorists to not take the law into their own hands and instead strictly abide by traffic rules for their safety.

He advised the public to change their mindset of using motorcycles as a quick solution to reach any destination since motorcycles are small and can easily fit into any lane, overtaking other vehicles.

Retuya said counterflows could lead to fatal accidents.

"There are instances when motorcyclists attempt to sneak past other vehicles by overtaking them in tight spaces, which can lead to accidents if they end up in a truck's blind spot. In such cases, it's important to note that the truck driver is not at fault because it was the motorcyclist who initially took the truck's lane," said Retuya in Cebuano.

He advised motorists to manage their time wisely, allotting extra time for transportation when heading to their jobs or appointments, and avoiding rushing while driving.

Although Retuya could not provide statistics, he said most of the traffic accidents in Mandaue City are caused by a sudden counterflow of motorists. (HIC)


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