MMDA pushes stiffer penalties vs bus lane violators

MANILA -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has proposed an increase on the penalties for public utility buses (PUBs) that violate the yellow lane along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Stiffer penalties will help instill discipline among the bus drivers, according to MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning, Jojo Garcia.

Buses that stay outside the yellow lane have a PHP 200 fine. We have told our enforcers that charges of reckless driving be filed against them as well as an additional PHP 500 fine. Thus, they will be imposed a PHP 700 fine, Garcia said in a press conference Monday.

We are proposing that the fines be further increased and that this will be approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC) by next year, he added.

The MMDA currently imposes a PHP200 fine for buses violating the yellow lane while private vehicles that are using the yellow lane are penalized with PHP500 fine.

These penalties were approved by the MMC which is the agency's policymaking body consisting of 17 Metro Manila mayors.

The MMDA was able to apprehend 585 private vehicles and buses during the first day of the strict enforcement of the yellow bus lanes.

It has likewise started its dry run of the implementation of the motorcyle lanes with its full enforcement on Wednesday.

The implementation of the traffic management policies have resulted to the improvement of travel time in EDSA according to the MMDA official.

Based on the data that we have gathered, our point to point buses along EDSA had a travel time of 50 minutes from North Avenue to Ayala Avenue compared to the usual one hour and 20 minutes traveling on the same direction, said Garcia.

Public utility vehicles such as buses, UV Express and jeepneys, will not be allowed to go outside the 'yellow' lane while private vehicles can enter the lane 100 meters before their exit.

The first lane from the sidewalk will serve as loading/unloading zone while the second lane will be exclusive to provincial and point-to-point (P2P) buses. Loading/unloading on the second lane will be strictly prohibited.

Motorcycle riders may take the fourth lane from the sidewalk and may overtake through the leftmost lane for efficient movement.

MMDA traffic constables will also carry placards to easily guide motorists. Riders caught disregarding the guidelines via no-contact apprehension will face a PHP500 fine.

We are appealing for the cooperation and support of the public for the success of this initiative, Garcia said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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