Motoring News

ICYMI: LTO chief resigns, 140kph expressway speed limit proposed, first vintage car plates released

Time for a recap
Motoring news roundup from May 22 to 27, 2023
PHOTO: Serry Grecia, Drei Laurel, Leandre Grecia, LTO

That horse found galloping on NLEX is now safely home

“Days ago, we shared footage of a horse on the loose on North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), right between San Fernando and San Simon in Pampanga. At the time of posting, we didn’t know the real story behind the bizarre sighting. Hours after, however, someone commented on our page about how the pony was already back home, safe and sound. That was when we reached out to the supposed owner to learn more.

Viral horse on NLEX:

“According to a certain Kenneth Kurt Soriano Villarica, they were able to retrieve Dixie the loose pony in Barangay Sta. Monica, San Simon, Pampanga the same night the video was posted on Top Gear Philippines. While Dixie was found with sore feet, the pony was still generally safe and was still able to stand on its own.

“‘Malayo-layo po kasi tinakbo niya eh, kaya napupudpud po kuko niya,’” Villarica added.

“When asked about how Dixie even made its way into the tollway in the first place, Villarica shared that Dixie’s stable is located somewhere under the bridge and that the pony may have just climbed its way onto the expressway.”

LTO chief Jay Art Tugade resigns from post

“The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has had its fair share of ups and downs these past few months. But on May 22, 2023, a shock announcement came from the agency: Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo ‘Jay Art’ Tugade has announced that he is stepping down from his role as agency chief.

“One major reason for Tugade’s resignation from his post is his differences with the Department of Transport (DOTr). The current head of the DOTr is Secretary Jaime Bautista. Both Tugade and Bautista were appointed by President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.

“‘Even as DOTR and LTO both aim to succeed in serving the public, our methods to achieve that success differ,’ said Tugade in his official statement. ‘For this reason, I am stepping down, so Sec. Jimmy Bautista will have the free hand to choose who he can work best with.

“‘I will continue to root for the LTO's success even as a private citizen, because I will always share in Sec. Bautista’s belief that our offices can be a formidable force for good in our country.’”

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Official: MotoStreat on BGC is still closed

“Earlier this week, there were rumors going around that MotoStreat—the popular tambike place in Bonifacio Global City—would soon be reopening albeit it’ll be exclusive to Vespas and bikes with at least 400cc engines. Well, the BGC management has shot down claims from the supposed ‘Motostreat’ Facebook page, saying that the said page is not affiliated with BGC or with Bonifacio High Street management.

“The official statement reads: ‘MotoStreat is closed to the public until further notice, and open only for management-sanctioned events.

“‘Official news and updates will be shared on Bonifacio High Street and Bonifacio Global City’s official pages.”

Bill seeking to raise expressway speed limit to 140kph filed on Congress

“The fastest you can drive on Philippine public roads is 100kph. You can do those speeds along major expressways, and if you still want to go faster, you have to take it to the race track. However, a member of congress wants to raise that speed limit to 140kph.

“Ilocos Sur Representative Ronald V. Singson filed House Bill (HB) No. 4089 in a bid to raise the country’s speed limit along expressways. It is also known as “An act providing for the definition of expressway and setting a speed limit for such highway all over the country, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 4136, as amended, otherwise known as the ‘Land Transportation and Traffic Code.’ It’s quite a mouthful, so we’ll stick to HB 4089.

“Expressway in this context is defined as a ‘controlled-access highway.’ That means roads such as EDSA and C5, while called highways, are not covered by this bill. What this bill refers to are highways such as NLEX, SLEX, and SCTEX.

“So, why the need to amend the limit? In his explanatory note, Singson explains, ‘Republic Act No. 4136 does not include in its classification the class of controlled access highways or expressways. Thus, the allowable speed limit for such class of roads is not specified. Moreover, the law applies to vintage vehicles which lack safety features that modern vehicles now have. Therefore, the said law is desperately out of date and needs revising.’”

No, your license plate can’t be confiscated just like that

“Because the agency has received numerous queries and complaints about the matter, the LTO has released a memorandum that explicitly prohibits the confiscation of license plates of apprehended vehicles.

“The memorandum reiterates one of the provisions of Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01. It states: ‘In all cases where the penalty includes the confiscation, suspension, or revocation of a driver’s license or student permit as well as the suspension or revocation of the registration of a motor vehicle or impounding the motor vehicle, and the same cannot be immediately implemented, the driver’s license, the student permit, or motor vehicle as the case may be shall be put on alarm until the proper penalty may be implemented.’

“To simplify, all traffic violations that don’t involve the confiscation of plates or licenses, the enforcer or deputized official shouldn’t take any of those away. The only time the plates should be confiscated is if the apprehended vehicle is being sent to the impound.”

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LTFRB to habal-habal riders: Join motorcycle-taxi pilot run

“The motorcycle-taxi technical working group (TWG) under the LTFRB is emphasizing that once the law that legalizes motorcycle taxis in the country is finally passed, habal-habal riders could stand to benefit from the program.

“‘Once they are part of the program, they will be regulated and will be trained in the aspects of proper operations, particularly in improving their driving skills through more advanced driver training once they become part of the program,’ said TWG secretariat Atty. Paul Austria. ‘That way, they can operate safely and securely, which will ultimately benefit the riding public.’

“The TWG also said that it will study the possibility of expanding the pilot run’s covered areas. It will also look into adding new transport network companies to the existing pool of Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It.”

LTO opens first slots for free theoretical driving courses

“Earlier in May, the LTO announced that it will be offering free 15-hour Theoretical Driving Courses. At the time, outgoing LTO chief Jay Art Tugade said that the agency aims to make it a monthly program to make driving education in the country more accessible. Now, there is a definite schedule and venue for the first and second sessions.

“The announcement can be seen in the LTO-National Capital Region Facebook page. The first session will be held on June 1 to 2, 2023, from 8am to 5pm on both days. The second will be on June 8 to 9, 2023, also from 8am to 5pm.

“Both courses will be held at the LTO Pasay City Licensing Center – Driver’s Education Center.

“However, by the time you read this, those two dates are fully booked. That said, it won’t be a one-time thing since, as mentioned, the LTO aims to hold it on a monthly basis.

“To avail of the service, one must first register through the registration form link posted by the LTO’s official social media channels. Applicants are also required to have a Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) account.

“As for other reminders, these appointments are non-transferable and non-rebookable. It is also advised to provide an active email address to receive confirmation of the schedule 1 to 2 days prior to the chosen date. Last, but not least, the applicant must personally attend both sessions for, well, obvious reasons.”

A vintage car owner has received the first set of official vintage vehicle plates

“Recently, the LTO released the first set of plates for a vintage vehicle. Outgoing agency chief Jay Art Tugade was present to turn over the plates to the owner, and he said the car that received its vintage plates passed all requirements for vehicle roadworthiness.

“‘With the passage of the Vintage Vehicle Regulation Act, the LTO aims to register roadworthy vintage vehicles while also encouraging owners to take greater responsibility for maintaining their vehicles in order to preserve their historical value,” said Tugade.

“The Vintage Vehicle Regulation Act or Republic Act No. 11698 is a law that recognizes vintage automobiles as ‘an integral part of Philippine culture’ and thus seeks to protect and preserve these vehicles’ heritage. It aims to encourage the maintenance, use, and registration of vintage vehicles as well as to boost tourism through the promotion of historical automobile tours and the establishment of vintage car museums or motorsport events.

“Vintage vehicles are defined by RA 11698 as motor vehicles at least 40 years old from the official date of manufacturing. All vintage vehicles that benefit from this law should also be period-correct. Restomods are still considered vintage; replicas and reproduction models are not. A vintage vehicle’s general appearance must not have been altered, and its chassis, engine, steering assembly, and suspension assembly should be either original or authentic.

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PHOTO: Serry Grecia, Drei Laurel, Leandre Grecia, LTO
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