After Specialty Lanes, Motorcycles to Have Exclusive Traffic Lights

MANILA, Philippines — After a successful introduction and implementation of motorcycle lanes , a Congressman proposed a new bill to designate special traffic lights specifically for motorcycles.

House Bill 6849 or the Motorcyle Traffic Lights Act of 2012 aims to provide for the installation, operation and maintenance of specialty motorcycle traffic lights in each and every city in the Philippines, for the safety and stubbornness purposes of motorist.

The bill was proposed in response to the growing number of road accidents involving motorcycles and their driver’s careless disregard of traffic signs, which results in serious physical injury and sometimes death to themselves and/or to others.

The bill, when approved and enacted, will task the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to install additional traffic lights that are primarily for motorcycle use. The specialty lights will contain the word “stop” as well as an icon of a motorcycle, so that these “drivers  would know that they should stop”. The apparatuses would be installed beside existing traffic lights but would be larger in size to make it harder for cyclist to ignore them.

“These motorcycle drivers are either blind, color blind or stupid. That is why with this bill, we have eliminated 2 reasons for the drivers to blame for. If they are stupid, they should not be riding motorcycles in the first place. You see them on the road everyday ignoring red lights and going about their way. They don’t seem to know that their bikes are equipped with breaks”  said a Congressman who co-authored the bill and wishes to be unnamed.

Akala mo hari sila ng kalsada, hindi marunong huminto (You’d think they are the king of the road, they don’t know how to stop),” quipped another lawmaker beside him.

In other transportation news:

Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo filed last week House Bill 5850, which requires jeepney manufacturers to provide a standard seating space capacity of 357 millimeters or 14 inches per passenger.

The bill seeks to standardized the spacing on seats in jeepneys, which is the most popular means of transportation in the country.

The proposed legislation also requires the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to issue appropriate guidelines, rules and regulations on the standard seat space, to be implemented by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). (from GMA News)

No word yet on how kandong (let seat on the lap) will be implemented. Some commuters suggest a compartment above the seats, similar to the ones found inside airplanes of commercial airliners.

As for “sabits (hanging)” on jeepneys, another Congressman is hard at work on another house bill that aims to monitor the safety and concerns of such passengers. The Sabit Jeepney Welfare Act of 2012, which is currently on the final stages of drafting, “aims to give sabits 50% discount on existing fares due to the uncomfortable way of commuting and the danger involved”. The bill will also task the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to mandate all jeepney operators to provide “stand belts” to sabits for the passenger’s safety and welfare. “Stand belts” are similar to seat belts, but this one is for standing purposes.

Also in the provision is the 3 passenger limit as to how many simultaneous sabits are allowed on a jeep at a time. Jeepney drivers who violates this provision will have the handles on the back of their vehicle sawed off by MMDA enforcers on the spot. Violators with as much sabits like the one pictured above, would have the roofs on their jeeps removed.

Like the Motorcyle Traffic Lights Act of 2012, and the Seat Space Requirement of Jeepneys Act of 2012; the Sabit Jeepney Welfare Act of 2012 is  pending committee and plenary deliberations and voting for it to be passed by the lower chamber.

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