Vehicle blocks motorbikes that counterflow in mandaue

ANTI-COUNTERFLOW. This screengrab from the video posted on Facebook by motorcycle driver Mark Suico Gigremosa shows a motorcycle avoiding a gray vehicle by counterflowing in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City on Thursday morning, Feb. 29, 2024. Gigremosa’s two-minute video shows the gray vehicle blocking motorcycles from encroaching on the northbound lane.
ANTI-COUNTERFLOW. This screengrab from the video posted on Facebook by motorcycle driver Mark Suico Gigremosa shows a motorcycle avoiding a gray vehicle by counterflowing in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City on Thursday morning, Feb. 29, 2024. Gigremosa’s two-minute video shows the gray vehicle blocking motorcycles from encroaching on the northbound lane.

WHILE a video of a gray vehicle driver attempting to block counterflowing motorcycles on JP Rizal St. in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City has drawn attention, a traffic official acknowledges the driver was likely trying to enforce traffic rules, though in a dangerous manner.

Hyl Retuya, assistant head of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team), told reporters on Friday, March 1, 2024, that while the driver will not be penalized, his actions were “risky and reckless.”

The driver might have acted out of frustration with counterflowing motorcycles, which is a traffic violation, he said.

Counterflowing

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) driving manual defines counterflowing as driving against the lane’s designated traffic flow. Overtaking involves temporarily switching lanes to pass another vehicle before returning to the original lane. Overtaking is permissible under specific conditions, specifically when there is no oncoming vehicle.

The LTO prohibits counterflowing; however, it said that overtaking is not considered a traffic offense as long as it follows the standard 500-foot visual requirement. This means the overtaking vehicle must have a clear line of sight for at least 500 feet and not encounter oncoming traffic within that distance.

The incident, which happened on Thursday, Feb. 29, was recorded on video and posted on social media by motorcycle driver Mark Suico Gigremosa.

Advice

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

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

The two-minute video shows the slow-moving gray vehicle moving along the inner lane.

Retuya said counterflowing and tailgating (following too closely) are common traffic violations in Mandaue, especially during attempts to follow emergency vehicles with the right of way. Team currently issues P1,000 citation tickets for these offenses.

Video uploader

Gigremosa told SunStar Cebu the incident occurred early Thursday morning, and that the driver of the gray vehicle was northbound and appeared to be trying to hit counterflowing motorcycles.

He said he posted the video to raise awareness, noting the risk to all vehicles involved. The video ignited debate on Facebook, with netizens taking sides — either criticizing the driver of the gray vehicle or criticizing counterflowing motorcycle drivers.

While acknowledging that counterflowing is commonplace for riders seeking a faster route, Gigremosa said that it remains a dangerous practice.

Retuya said motorists should follow traffic rules to avoid accidents. / HIC

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