Does the name Bonifacio Bosita ring a bell? In case you’re not aware, Bosita is a lieutenant colonel with the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG). He is also the founder of Riders’ Safety Advocates of the Philippines, which now has nearly 400,000 members, consisting mainly of small bike owners. These riders have been seeking or have sought Bosita’s help with problems like motorcycle registration, vehicle clearance, traffic violations, traffic penalties, and so on.
Bosita has openly expressed his opposition to the protective shield required by the government for couples or live-in partners who want to share a ride on a motorbike. Here are the six reasons he raised:
1) Chassis design is an issue
Not all bike frames can accommodate the steel posts required for the shield, particularly scooters. The design pitched by Iloilo governor Arthur Yap, which was eventually approved by the government, is only good for underbone and backbone motorcycles because they have the traditional swing arm. Let’s not forget, more than 50% of the motorcycles in the country are scooters.
The aerodynamic design of motorcycles will be adversely affected by the protective shield, which could lead to accidents.
3) The rules are vague
There are no clear standards set by the government on the materials to be used for the shield. Therein lies the risk that the owner of the bike will use cheap materials.
4) Riding skills matter
Riding skill is a big factor in ensuring a rider’s safety, along with their passenger’s. The additional load from the passenger, combined with the restricted movement of the rider, makes it difficult to react faster than usual.
5) The bigger the frame of the rider and the passenger, the bigger the problem
When the protective shield has been mounted, it will be impossible for riders to adjust their seating position due to the limited space available. This could trigger undue stress for both rider and passenger.
6) Budget issues
Monetary concerns are universal during these critical times. Additional expense for materials to install the protective shield is bad news for riders. Many of them are ordinary employees who depend heavily on their motorbike as a mode of transportation or as a means of making a living.
With these arguments coming straight from the mouth of a PNP-HPG, is it any wonder that traffic enforcers are still hesitant to implement this regulation?