Everyone’s preparing for the upcoming long weekend. As we expect an exodus of motorists from Metro Manila and other key cities in the country, this situation, unfortunately, brings us again to the perennial heavy traffic in almost all major thoroughfares that lead to the provinces. This is one of the main reasons many travelers shift to motorbikes during long vacations instead of taking four wheels.
But there is one major drawback when riding motorcycles–there’s limited or no available storage for the rider’s belongings. So, stop wondering why you see top boxes and saddle bags on many motorbikes. Government authorities, however, want these bike accessories regulated, citing road safety as the reason.
Attorney Robert Valera of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has laid out guidelines for the legal use of top boxes and saddle bags. The LTO memorandum also sets strict parameters for custom-made motorcycle top boxes. Unless you’re always ready to pay this steep fine, read these items carefully:
For top boxes:
- These compartments must always be securely attached to the motorcycle.
- A top box can accommodate only two full-face helmets to limit its size.
For custom-made top boxes:
- Custom-made top boxes are commonly used by fast-food delivery services. Their measurement must not exceed two feet in height by two feet in width by two feet in length so as not to compromise rider’s safety.
- They must not impede or obstruct the rider’s view of the road behind via the side mirrors.
- Aside from adhering to these two requirements, a custom-made top box must also be registered at the LTO for a fee of P100.
- Riders with unregistered custom-made top boxes are subject to apprehension (motor vehicle operating without or with defective/improper/unauthorized accessories, devices, equipment and parts). Violators will be fined P5,000.
For saddle bags or boxes:
- Saddle bags that were designed specifically for motorcycles or scooters and were approved by the DTI are not subject to inspection or apprehension by LTO enforcers.
- These compartments must not be installed higher than the seat of a motorcycle or scooter.
- The size of custom-made saddle bags must not exceed 14 inches from the side. They must also not protrude from the tail end of the motorcycle or scooter.
- Custom-made saddle bags must be registered at the LTO for a fee of P100. Violators face a penalty of P5,000 (motor vehicle operating without or with defective/improper/unauthorized accessories, devices, equipment and parts).
Now that you have this information, don’t risk having your much-deserved vacation ruined. There will be many LTO and police checkpoints all over the country this long weekend. Aside from assisting motorists, they will also be on the lookout for those who violate traffic regulations.