16 April 2016

MMDA wants Subic's traffic discipline culture emulated in Metro Manila streets

The implementation of the no contact apprehension policy of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) aims to create a “behavioral” and "cultural” change among the drivers to observe road discipline, just like in Subic Bay Freeport.

This, after at least 176 motorists and drivers have been caught violating traffic rules on major thoroughfares in the first two hours of yesterday’s relaunching of the no contact apprehension policy of the MMDA.

It is only in Subic Freeport where motorists are aware and follow its "first to stop-first to go" policy on intersections.

“Drivers are capable of being disciplined, like they do when they are inside the Subic freeport. That’s what we hope to achieve,” MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos said, citing that “once you prohibit, consistently it would be cultural change.”

Amid the number of recorded violations, Carlos said the kickoff of the new policy seemed to create a “chilling effect” on drivers plying EDSA.

“There was light vehicular flow from East Avenue to Cubao area, Osmena Avenue, some parts of EDSA during rush hour Friday morning and payday,” said Carlos.

Based on the agency’s monitoring, common violations include obstruction, reckless driving, prohibited loading and unloading on non-designated zones, overspeeding, and banned entering of underpasses.

Showing their seriousness, some agency personnel delivered a summon to Joanna Jess bus firm located in Western Bicutan, Taguig City, to inform them that one of their drivers violated the no loading/unloading zone.

For drivers who will contest their violation, Carlos said they are welcome to present their own evidence.

“You can bring your own video if you have dashcam. In this policy we are giving the motorists all the opportunities to contest but the same time, we will look at the circumstances,” said Carlos.

In case drivers are apprehended manually for the same violation, one ticket will be cancelled. For different violations, drivers can be apprehended multiple times.

A 15-man team is manning the No Contact Policy Office in the MMDA headquarters, tasked to monitor CCTV footage for traffic violations.

Carlos said the violators may receive their summons in less than a week, depending how far their residences are.

The policy also hopes to stop the “padrino” system involving policemen and politicians and even bribery and extortion opportunities involving traffic enforcers.

“If there is a denial from the driver, that’s only his defense. It will be his word against the video captured,” said Carlos.

The driver will not be able to renew his vehicle registration until the fines are settled.

Carlos also warned drivers from lying as those who will be caught lying will be charged with perjury, which carries a penalty of possible imprisonment.

“If the vehicle is not registered, we will report them to LTO,” said Carlos, adding that those who oppose the now policy are welcome to visit the Metrobase. (Manila Bulletin)

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/mmda-captures-176-motorist-violations-on-video-in-2-hours-of-no-contact-policy/