Giving us a sense of déjà vu, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now saying it will strictly implement the motorcycle lane, zeroing first on EDSA, one year after it launched this campaign. With an average of 50 motorcycle-related accidents on the 23km stretch that traverses six cities, the MMDA thinks it's high time to crack the whip against erring riders.
Just like what the agency did exactly one year ago, they will be doing it again this week—and they’re claiming that they are dead serious in enforcing it this time.
Like last year, motorcycle clubs are up in arms against this campaign—branding it as a form of discrimination against two wheelers since many cars and buses that ply the route also change lanes more often than them. The bike club leaders assert that they’re not the only ones to be blamed on accidents along EDSA. But their grumblings apparently fell on deaf ears.
Again, expect many ‘photo ops’ of MMDA officials and traffic constables flagging down motorcycle lane violators in the middle of EDSA.
In light of all of this, we advise motorcycle riders to be aware of the guidelines issued by the MMDA on the motorcycle lane, and spare yourselves from the P500 fine.
As the saying goes, you can't fight city hall. Here are five reminders for your peace of mind:
1) The motorcycle lane is not exclusive for motorcycles. Other vehicles may use the lane, too. However, MMDA advised other motorists to give priority to motorcycles traversing the lane to avoid accidents.
2) Motorcycles turning right must exit the motorcycle lane about 100 meters before the turn, instead of 50 meters that was previously enforced. Just to give you an idea, 100 meters is the same length as two Olympic-size swimming pools. Also, don’t forget to use the signal lights before turning.
3) The motorcycle lane policy is not just about motorcycle lane violations. MMDA traffic enforcers will also cite riders without proper riding gear, particularly helmets. Motorcycles with busted lights, no side mirrors, no headlights and/or taillights will also be flagged down. Riders wearing slippers and shorts will not be spared by enforcers.
4) The MMDA has allotted only two days (November 20 and 21) for dry runs for the renewed campaign. During these days, riders will be flagged down but will not be issued traffic violation receipts as they will only be given warning and reminders by the traffic constables. Apprehension will commence on Wednesday, November 22.
5) The renewed motorcycle lane policy will be implemented not only on EDSA, but on Commonwealth Avenue, Carlos P. Garcia highway or C-5 Road, and Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City. The MMDA emphasized that it will initially focus on EDSA for the initial days of the operation before they include the four other areas which are equally notorious for motorbike accidents.
Always remember the old cliché: ‘Ignorance of the law excuses no one.’
In case you’re experiencing amnesia, or worse, Alzheimer’s disease, the MMDA warns that the third apprehension would mean cancellation of your driver’s license by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
If you’re not yet inclined to retire early from motorcycle riding, behave on the road guys!