Mechanical engineers oppose the government-mandated backriding shield

Another sector is voicing concern
by Aris Ilagan for TopBikes.ph | Jul 24, 2020
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

More sectors are coming out in the open to express their objection to the mandatory backriding shields required by the government, based on claims that it will prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The latest to contradict the government’s claim that the backriding shields are an added protection is the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME), which zeroed in on the fluid dynamics and aerodynamics involved in the use of this controversial fixture.

In a position paper submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of  on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the PSME cited three reasons why the backriding shield is detrimental to the riders.

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  • Safety. The barrier, which will be mounted to the motorcycle along with the separate handlebar attached to its GI frame, compromise the safety of the rider and the passenger. The engineers claimed the barriers alter the aerodynamic design of the motorbike, particularly the drag and lift, which affects its stability when in motion.
  • Health. Contrary to the government’s claims, the engineers believe the wind turbulence that builds up at the front end of the barrier would only help spread the infection to the rider and passenger instead of protecting them from this health menace.
  • Economy and environment. They also believe that this additional attachment to the motorbike increases wind resistance which slows down the motorbike. To compensate for this, the rider must apply more throttle input thus resulting in increased fuel consumption.
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“In essence, the PSME believes that the barrier cannot serve as a health and safety measure to protect the riders from COVID-19. Instead, it may compromise the safety, health, economy, and the environment,” it says in the document signed by the group’s president, Jeffrey F. Singson.

For more of our stories on the ongoing crisis, click here. For the latest news and updates on COVID-19, check out reportr.world/covid-19.

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopBikes.ph. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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