Erring public utility vehicle drivers who have amassed multiple traffic violations behind the wheel might soon be suspended from plying Metro Manila’s streets.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced that it is looking to suspend such motorists after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) submitted the names of PUV drivers who have committed multiple traffic violations.
MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia says the move comes in a bid to keep commuters safe: “We want the riding public to be out of danger and prohibiting habitual traffic offenders is one step to avoid road accidents.”
According to the MMDA, only half of the 2,500 drivers issued LTO show cause orders answered, and that the agency submitted a list of drivers with multiple apprehensions in January. Garcia added that the MMDA is just waiting for apprehension guidelines from the LTO, and clarified that the agency is targeting private motorists with more than three violations for the same offense, too.
“Because we are just an enforcement agency, we have to be guided by the LTO on the apprehension of these motorists but we encourage PUV operators to exercise their authority and bar their errant drivers from holding the steering wheel,” he said.
Emmanuel Tabuena, traffic enforcement chief of the Philippine National Police–Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), said these motorists might not just face a revocation of license or suspension—those involved in accidents may be charged with reckless driving as well.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) technical division chief Joel Bolano, meanwhile, clarified that targeting erring PUV drivers won’t have a negative impact on the capital’s transport system as a whole: “If there are 3,500 bus units in Metro Manila, there are more than 7,000 [public utility bus] drivers. If there are only 2,000 delinquent bus drivers, there will still be 5,000 left.”
In 2019, the Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) recorded 65 fatal incidents involving public buses and jeepneys. Will the MMDA’s latest crackdown help lower that figure this year?