You already know that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will begin implementing no-contact apprehension tomorrow, April 15. That means motorists who commit a traffic violation will no longer be flagged down by MMDA officers. The good thing is that corrupt traffic officers will have fewer opportunities to extort money from drivers. The bad thing is that motorists now have so many questions regarding the new policy.
To address that, the MMDA has released a question-and-answer guide. Note that most of these answers have already been provided in the implementing guidelines released earlier. But there are still a few bits of new information here, so we suggest you read up. Here you go:
1. What is the "no-contact traffic apprehension policy"?
No-contact traffic apprehension is a policy that utilizes CCTV, digital cameras and/or other gadgets or technologies to capture videos and images to apprehend vehicles violating traffic laws, rules and regulations.
2. What is its coverage?
No-physical-contact apprehension covers the apprehension of violators in areas within Metro Manila that are covered by MMDA CCTV cameras.
3. Will the policy rid Metro Manila roads of MMDA traffic enforcers?
No. It was conceptualized to supplement the presence of MMDA traffic enforcers. Aside from the fact that there are still places not covered by CCTVs, no-contact traffic apprehension was designed to catch moving violations, thus leaving the apprehension of administrative offenses to MMDA constables.
4. How will the No-Contact Team know about the records of the vehicle?
The MMDA No-Contact Apprehension Team will search for the motor vehicle record of the violator using the LTO information query facility.
5. If I’m the registered owner, and the current owner hasn’t processed the vehicle’s transfer of registration yet, will I still be penalized for a violation I did not commit?
The First Notice shall require the owner of the vehicle to identify its driver at the time and place indicated in the notice, as well as his/her address. It is the responsibility of the current owner to have the vehicle registered under his/her name. If a previous owner receives the notice, he or she may file a protest at the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division (TAD) and show a notarized Deed of Sale as evidence, as well as the name and the address of the current vehicle owner.
6. How will the MMDA send the summons to violators?
Notices shall be sent through personal service by MMDA personnel, registered mail or courier services through government or private service providers.
7. What if the violator refuses to receive the notice?
Traffic violators who refuse to receive or accept the notice issued to them without any valid reason shall be deemed to have received it by leaving a copy and submitting an affidavit of service or report attesting to the refusal of the violator to acknowledge receipt of the notice.
8. Within how many days should a driver settle his/her violation under this policy?
Payment of fines and penalties shall be made within seven days upon receipt of the First Notice to any authorized accredited payment centers unless a protest is filed before the MMDA TAD, in which case the fines, as finally adjudicated, shall be paid at the Collection Division of the MMDA Central Office.
9. Where should I pay to settle my violation?
The violator may pay either at the MMDA Main Office or in any branch of Metrobank.
10. If I don’t agree with the violation given to me, how do I contest it?
The First Notice contains a statement that the traffic violator shall have the right to file a protest before the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division within seven days from receipt of the notice, and that failure to do so within the prescribed period shall be seen as a waiver of such right to contest the violation or present evidence as a defense. Within 15 days from receipt of an adverse TAD resolution, the driver may file a Motion for Reconsideration. Within 30 days from receipt of the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration, the driver may file an appeal at the Office of the Chairman, where the decision shall be final and executory. If no protest is filed within the seven-day prescriptive period and the fines remain unpaid, a Final Notice to settle the violation shall be issued.
11. What will happen if I don’t pay at all?
If a violator fails to settle the assessed fines or penalties from the receipt of the Final Notice, the vehicle license plate number shall be included in the alarm list, and be reported to the LTO with a request that its registration not be renewed until the penalties or fines are fully settled.
Photo from Benjie Phillip