Tag Archive: MMDA


05 - 18

The announcement that the Anti-distracted Driving Act will finally be enforced this week (today actually!) was met with a lot of questions from drivers, especially those that use navigation apps and other gadgets such as dash cameras.  If you read our previous article on this topic or have seen the news articles in the internet, you already have an idea of the exorbitant fees that will be charged anyone caught violating the law.  Quite obviously, the clamor for answers and clarifications was driven by the rather shocking fees you will have to pay if you so much as looked at your beeping phone while sitting behind the wheel.

We ran a research to find out what the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has to say about these questions.  We hope the following details gathered from the internet will help clear things out and set every driver’s mind at ease.

1.On the use of navigation apps installed on smartphones.

Question: Does this mean I could no longer use navigation apps while driving?

Answer: According to the LTO, drivers are still allowed to use these smartphone-based apps provided:

  • The driver sets the app BEFORE driving.
  • Uses a speaker to listen to the directions instead of looking at the smartphone screen.
  • Pulls over if he needs to reset his destination.

2. On the use of a mobile phone mount.

Question: Are mobile phone mounts included in the prohibitions?

Answer: No, for as long as the phone and the mount do not obstruct the driver’s view.

3. On the use of dash cameras.

Question: Should I now get rid of my dashcam?

Answer: Dashcams are allowed.  Just place it behind the rearview mirror so that, again, it does not obstruct the driver’s line of sight.

4. On the use of earphones while driving.

Question: Earphones are hands-free devices, am I allowed to use this while driving?

Answer: Yes but only to make or receive calls.  You should not use it to listen to music while on the road.

5. On heavily tinted cars whose drivers think they can “get away with it”.

Question: How will they know I’m using my mobile, they can’t see me!

Answer: This just in: The Department of Transportation now uses high-definition cameras that can detect light coming from devices inside heavily tinted cars.  Plus, enforcers are well-trained to distinguish if a driver is distracted by merely observing the car’s movement.

The law covers public and private vehicles, including bicycles, motorcycles, motorcycle taxis, “kalesas” or any other animal-driven wagons or carts.  Yes, no one is exempted, not even vehicles owned by the government.  According to the LTO Chief, violators can raise their contentions during the hearing at the LTO.  That simply means that enforcers will not let erring drivers slide and skedaddle without a violation ticket, no questions asked.

There you have it!  If you have other questions, feel free to post it here and we’ll try our best to dig deeper and find the answers for you.

Have a safe trip!

Reference: www.cnnphilippines.com

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05 - 16 (1)

In August of last year, we featured the details of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and got various reactions from our readers.  Less than a year later, it will finally be enforced in all areas in the Philippines!

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, private and public utility drivers will no longer be allowed to use mobile devices behind the wheel, whether they are on the move or on full stop while waiting for traffic lights to change.

To refresh our memories, below are the salient points of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and the penalties that await those who will insist on their exceptional multi-tasking abilities.

What is “Distracted Driving”?

In the bill, it is defined as:

  • “using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read text-based communication or to make or receive calls, and other similar acts.”
  • “an electronic entertainment or computing device to play games, watch movies, surf the internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculations, and other similar acts.”

Exemptions:

  • You may use the mentioned mobile devices as long as it does not interfere with your line of sight.
  • You may make and receive calls as long as you do so using hands-free functions such as speakerphones and earphones.
  • You may use the device to make an emergency call.
  • Drivers of ambulances, fire trucks, and the like may use their mobile phones for as long as this is done in the scope of their duties and when responding to emergencies.

What are the fines and penalties if a driver violates the law?

  1. First offense – Php 5,000
  2. Second offense – Php 10,000
  3. Third offense – Php 15,000 and a 3-month suspension of your driver’s license
  4. Fourth offense –Php 20,000 and revocation of your driver’s license

MMDA and PNP are empowered to apprehend violators, whether private or public vehicles, including government and diplomatic vehicles, motorcycles, and tricycles.

References:

www.gov.ph

http://www.topgear.com.ph

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11-24

Back in October, a proposal to have students’ Christmas breaks be declared earlier than usual to help ease traffic congestion was raised.  The proposal was met with criticisms because it posed a negative impact on school calendars and significant activities such as periodical examinations and graduation ceremonies.

This week, a new proposal to address traffic woes became a trending topic in social media:  the 3-digit coding plan to be implemented in Metro Manila from December 1 until the first week of January.  This means that a vehicle will not be permitted to use major thoroughfares for two days, instead of one.

To better appreciate the scheme, below is a table of the days when a car is not permitted in Metro Manila roads, based on the last digit of the car’s plate number:

3digits

The significant increase in passenger and commercial vehicle sales this year influenced the DOTr’s decision to push for the 3-digit number coding scheme.  They thought it best to test the effectiveness of this plan next month when motorists and commuters are expected to double in number because of the holidays.

Are you in favor of driving your car only 3 days a week for the entire month of December?

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/21/16/suarez-wants-3-digit-number-coding-for-the-holidays

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10-07-2

If your car’s plate number is on ‘coding’, you will have to wait until after 7:00PM before you can start driving down Metro Manila roads.  There will no longer be any ‘window hours’ between 10:00AM to 3:00PM, beginning October 25, 2016 that is.

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), this is one of the sacrifices that all vehicle owners and operators must make in order to help ease Metro Manila traffic.  They said the public must not see it as a ‘punishment’.

On Edsa alone, the NCR’s main thoroughfare, about 7,500 vehicles pass per hour, per direction when it only has a capacity of 6,000 vehicles.  By canceling the window hours, Metro Manila roads will be relieved by as much as 20% of vehicle traffic from 7:00AM to 7:00PM during weekdays.  This is a much needed respite especially since the city is again bracing itself for the onslaught of the holiday traffic.  Should the scheme yield positive results, the Department of Transportation might consider keeping the scheme long after the holidays are over.

Tell us what you think about this new approach in solving our traffic problems.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/822655/stricter-coding-starting-oct-25

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09-15

If you’ve ever passed through Quezon Avenue or any of the Scout streets along Timog Avenue, between the rush hours of 5PM to 9PM, you know how crazy the traffic situation there can get.

If you are coming from the Espana Boulevard areas, you will notice jeepneys and UV Express vehicles racing against each other from Welcome Rotonda to Santo Domingo Church in an attempt to hoard all commuters waiting by the roadside.  Never mind that there are other private vehicles traversing the same road, trying to get home safely and on time.

Traffic starts to build-up at the Pantranco area, particularly by the footbridge where more passengers wait for public conveyance.  Traffic slows down to a crawl until the Delta intersection where vehicles from Panay Avenue, Edsa, and West Avenue meet.  A heavy downpour or defective traffic lights can render this intersection completely idle.  It is also the favorite spot of snatchers and worse, hold-uppers in spite of the presence of a make-shift police station only a few meters away from the road.

The Quezon City government will implement a new traffic scheme in this problematic area beginning tomorrow, September 15, 2016.  The fact that they decided to launch it on a payday (a bi-monthly occasion that is notoriously observed to be a major reason for traffic build-up in Metro Manila) is probably not a coincidence.  Ultimately, the objective is to shorten the travel time from Quezon Avenue to Welcome Rotonda, and back.

So what can commuters and drivers expect from this move?  Here is a list of the streets affected by the re-routing scheme:

Under the new traffic plan, there will be no right turns to:

  • E. Lopez Street corner Samar Avenue and Tomas Morato
  • GMA Network Drive corner Edsa and Samar Avenue
  • Mother Ignacia corner Edsa, Scout Borromeo and Sgt. Esguerra
  • Panay Avenue corner Dr. Garcia St., Roces, Scout Albano, Scout Borromeo, Scout Chuatoco, Scout Magbanua, Scout Reyes, and Timog
  • Scout Albano corner Quezon Avenue
  • Scout Bayoran corner Sgt. Esguerra, Sgt. Tuazon
  • Scout Madrinan corner Scout Tobias, Scout Ybardolaza and Tomas Morato
  • Scout Ybardolaza corner Sgt. Esguerra
  • Sgt. Esguerra corner E. Lopez, Panay Avenue, Scout Borromeo and Timog

There will be no left turns to:

  • E. Lopez corner Sgt. Esguerra
  • Mother Ignacia corner E. Lopez, Samar Avenue, Scout Borromeo, Scout Madrinan, Scout Tobias, and Sgt. Esguerra
  • Panay Avenue corner Dr. Garcia St., Roces Avenue, Scout Borromeo, Scout Chuatoco, Scout Magbanua, Scout Reyes, Scout Santiago, Sgt. Esguerra, and Timog Avenue.
  • Scout Albano corner Panay Avenue
  • Scout Bayoran corner Timog
  • Scout Madrinan corner Scout Torillo and Scout Tuazon
  • Sgt. Esguerra corner Mother Ignacia, Scout Bayoran, Scout Borromeo, Scout Ybardolaza, and Timog.

No Entry at:

  • Scout Tobias coming from Scout Borromeo and Sgt. Esguerra coming the 11th Jamboree.

The existing U-turn slots along Quezon Avenue from West Avenue intersection to Edsa will be closed while the intersection of Quezon Avenue corner Scout Borromeo and West 4th will be opened to traffic.

What do you think of this new approach?

Source: http://www.rappler.com/bulletin-board/146117-quezon-city-traffic-scheme-south-triangle-september-15

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09 - 01

‘Carmageddon’, ‘May Forever’, and ‘Edsa Parking Lot’ are just some of the many monikers used by motorists and commuters to describe the seemingly endless traffic woes in Metro Manila.  People spend an average of two hours every day to get to their offices and another two hours to travel back home at night.  This could take longer during the rainy season when major roads and side streets are submerged in flood waters.  In 2015, CNN dubbed Metro Manila as having the ‘worst traffic on Earth’.  They extracted the data from a GPS-based navigation app’s evaluation of traffics around the world.  Sad.

Cities and municipalities in and around Manila are never without ideas to help alleviate traffic problems for its residents.  Earlier last month, a bill that will require car owners to show proof that they have ample parking spaces, was filed by a Senator.  If approved, parking on side streets will be prohibited, unclogging alternative routes for motorists to pass through easily.  This is seen to help lessen traffic volume in main thoroughfares especially during morning and evening rush hours.

The city government of Pasig proposed to implement an odd-even traffic scheme on some of its roads in an attempt to lessen traffic in their area.  The experimental phase of the proposal took effect today, September 1, 2016.

Here is how the scheme works:

  1. Vehicles with at least 4 wheels and with plate numbers ending in even numbers are not allowed to travel Pasig streets on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.
  2. Vehicles with at least 4 wheels and with plate numbers ending in odd numbers are not allowed to travel Pasig streets on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  3. Roads covered by the traffic scheme are:
    • Elisco Road westbound;
    • R. Jabson Street northbound;
    • Intersection of Elisco Road, M. Concepcion Street, and R. Jabson Street;
    • San Guillermo Street eastbound; and
    • Sandoval Avenue northbound.

Exceptions to the rule:

  1. The scheme applies to private vehicles only.  Public utility vehicles can come and go as they please.
  2. Motorcycles are not covered as well.

The Pasig government is positive that the scheme will eventually earn the approval and appreciation of motorists.  They committed to monitor its proper implementation to maximize the experimental phase.

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/579728/news/metro/pasig-odd-even-traffic-scheme-takes-effect-motorists-complain

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ADDA

It is now illegal to use your mobile phone while driving or temporarily stopped at a red light.  Mobile phone use include texting, calling, surfing the net, and all other such activities done on a phone or any electronic gadget that take the driver’s attention away from the road.

The law also clearly states how violators will be penalized for refusing to comply with the ADDA:

  • First offense – P5,000 fine
  • Second offense – P10,000 fine
  • Third offense – P15,000 fine and a 3-month suspension on your driver’s license
  • Fourth offense – P20,000 fine and revocation of your driver’s license.

The MMDA and PNP are empowered to enforce the law, nationwide.

Are there exceptions to the ADDA?

The ADDA aims to prevent road mishaps resulting from distracted driving.  In reference, distracted driving is the use or performance of the following while the vehicle is in motion or stopped at a red light:

  • Using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read text messages;
  • Make or receive calls;
  • Using an electronic device to read e-books, play games, watch movies, etc.

However, if the mobile device is being used through hands-free function such as a speaker phone, the driver is not deemed “distracted” and therefore, is not considered a violation of the law.  This is also applicable for motorists who are dependent on mobile driving and navigation apps, provided that the device does not interfere with the driver’s line of sight.

Another exception is when the driver is using the phone for emergency purposes as in the case of driving an ambulance.

Does this law discriminate between private and public utility vehicles?

Absolutely not.  It applies to all types of transportation, including government and diplomatic vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles.

The rules and guidelines of the ADDA are yet to be finalized and released to the public.

Sources:

http://www.autoindustriya.com/features/legal-eagle-understanding-the-anti-distracted-driving-act.html

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/31/1608520/no-more-texting-while-driving-new-law-states

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MMDA

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) re-implemented the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy last April 15, 2016.  This approach in monitoring traffic flow and violations in Metro Manila utilizes CCTV cameras and other gadgets to identify drivers that go against traffic rules in Metro Manila.  Violators are issued summons from the MMDA through personal service of an MMDA personnel, registered mail, or courier service.  When the vehicle owner receives the summon or violation notice, he has to settle the fine at the MMDA main office or through any of MMDA’s payment centers.

Here is a step-by-step process on how to settle your MMDA Traffic Violation:

1. If your violation notice has not exceeded 7 days yet, you may pay your fine at the nearest Metrobank branch or any of the following MMDA payment centers below:

  • Meralco Complex – Gate 2, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City
  • Pinagkamaligan, Tanay – MA Roxas St., Brgy. Pinagkamaligan (beside Meralco Office)
  • Tropical Hut Taytay – Ortigas Ave., Ext., Corner E. Rodriguez Ave., Taytay, Rizal
  • Ever Commonwealth
  • Gulod Novaliches – 873 Quirino Hi-way (beside Meralco Nova).
  • Pritil, Tondo – Juan Luna St., (beside Puregold Pritil), Tondo, Manila
  • Cangatba, Porac – Cangatba (back of Municipal Hall of Porac), Porac, Pampanga
  • Ultra Mega Paliparan – Paliparan Road (inside Ultra Mega Supermarket), Dasmarinas, Cavite
  • Zapote Arcade – beside Puregold Zapote, corner Quirino, Zapote Road.
  • Romacom, Muntinlupa – Romacom Bldg., (beside PNB Poblacion), Muntinlupa City

2. If your violation notice has exceeded 7 days, you need to proceed to the MMDA Redemption Office located at Edsa cor. Orense St., Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City.  Pay your clearance fee at Window 1.

3. If you have more than 3 unpaid violations, you need to attend the Traffic Academy and secure a Certificate of Attendance before you can pay the total amount of your accumulated violations.

4. For any disputes or contentions on your violation notice, you may proceed to the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division.

Before proceeding to the MMDA office or before making any payments, make sure that the violation was issued by an MMDA enforcer.  Check with a local traffic enforcer.

Violators who refuse to pay their fines, in spite of receiving a Final Notice from the MMDA, will not be allowed to renew their vehicle’s registration.  The violator and details of the vehicle will also be included in the Alarm List and will be reported to LTO.

Source:  http://www.mmda.gov.ph/index.php/20-faq/293-procedure-in-settling-your-mmda-issued-traffic-violations

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To Tow or Not To Tow

Towing

In light of the recent illegal towing incident in Quezon City, a lot of questions were raised about the government’s policies on towing vehicles.  Towing is a rampant practice in the metropolis; its purpose is to clear major and side roads of illegally parked vehicles that cause traffic build-up, especially during rush hours.  However, based on recent and previous stories gathered from the news and social media, a lot of ruthless individuals have used vehicle towing as a means to cash in a few thousand bucks from vehicle owners who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time (and sometimes for the wrong reasons).

What are the policies on towing a vehicle?  Where does the authority of the towing company end and the rights of the vehicle owner begin?  Can a vehicle owner actually stop a tow truck from taking his car when he offers to simply pay the fine for his traffic violation?  Are towing personnel allowed to ask for the car keys and drive the towed vehicle to the impounding area?

Let’s find out from the MMDA’s Resolution on Towing and Impounding Operations.

MMDA Resolution No. 02-33

For those asking, the best reference we have about towing and impounding of vehicles is the MMDA Resolution No. 02-33 that can be accessed here.  This has been amended by Memorandum Circular No. 9 Series of 2010 to show additional guidelines directed to towing companies.  So that if you are interested to find out how and why your vehicle is being towed, you may refer to MMDA Resolution No. 02-33; while Memorandum Circular No. 9 s. 2010 covers the guidelines for towing companies outsourced by the government.

Why is your vehicle being towed?

Reading through the accounts of vehicle owners whose cars and vans have been towed, one will notice a common claim, “We didn’t know we were parked in a tow-away zone. There were no signs around!”

Right.

Based on the said MMDA Memorandum, “stalled” and “illegally parked” vehicles can be towed anytime.

A stalled vehicle means any motor vehicle which for any cause is unable to proceed under its own motive power and is on a public road, street, or thoroughfare and dilapidated/junked vehicles in Metro Manila.

An illegally parked vehicle is one that is parked in areas prohibited by existing laws or ordinance for parking purposes or those designated by the Authority and or the local government units (LGUs) as NO PARKING areas or zones.

These zones, according to the MMDA, are the following:

  • Within six (6) meters of any intersection or curved lane;
  • Within four (4) meters of driveway or entrances to any fire station, hospital, clinic and other similar establishment;
  • Within four (4) meters of fire hydrants;
  • On the roadside of any legally parked vehicle;
  • On pedestrian crosswalks;
  • In front of any authorized driveway.

Illegally parked vehicles are either attended (meaning the driver is in the car or is present in the area) and unattended (driver is nowhere to be found).

If your vehicle is attended illegally parked, your vehicle must not be towed; instead, the driver shall be immediately issued a TVR.  While unattended illegally parked vehicles shall be towed and issued a TVR immediately upon arrival at the impounding area.

What if I have a flat tire and need to stop?

  • Flat-tired vehicle must be moved to the emergency lane on its own, if not, it will be towed.  In either case, a TVR shall be issued.
  • Changing of flat tires on the roadway is not allowed.
  • Stalled or illegally parked vehicle as a result of empty fuel tank, may be towed to the nearest gasoline station.  A TVR shall be issued to the driver.
  • Stalled or illegally parked vehicle as a result of engine trouble shall be towed if the driver deliberately refuses to remove his vehicle or cannot move his vehicle due to the absence of equipment.  For circumstances beyond his control, a TVR shall be issued to the driver.

If your car is already clamped to the tow truck, you can no longer intercept the towing.  You will have to proceed to the impounding area to claim your vehicle.

How do I know if the towing personnel / team are legit and recognized by the MMDA?

The MMDA’s policies on tow trucks crew and personnel are the following:

  • Personnel or crew must wear identification cards of their company / office, prescribed uniforms, shoes, and have short hair cuts.
  • Exercise utmost courtesy and observe proper decorum in dealing with the public / motorists.
  • Must have at least two (2) wreckers passing standards for handling light and heavy vehicles.
  • Standard color for MMDA accredited tow trucks is white.
  • Also, towing companies are held responsible for losses/damages incurred while towing your vehicle.

How much should I pay to get my car back, really?

On Section 10 of the said MMDA Memorandum, the towing fees shall be paid either to the Metro Manila Local Government Unit concerned or to MMDA, as the case may be.

TOWING FEES

TYPE / LOAD OF VEHICLE TOWING FEE
Trucks having gross capacity weight of 4,000 kilos and above P1,200.0
Cars, jeeps, and pick-ups having gross capacity weight of less than 4,000 kilos P800.00

ILLEGAL PARKING FEES

TYPE / LOAD OF VEHICLE FINE
Any type of motor vehicle illegally parked on any public road, street or thoroughfare in Metro Manil P500.00
Trucks having gross capacity weight of 4,000 kilos and above P1,400 (in addition to the above P500)
Cars, jeeps, and pick-ups having gross capacity weight of less than 4,000 kilos P1,000 (in addition to the above P500)

Our best defense is still by keeping ourselves properly informed of what the law says about traffic rules and regulations.  Visit the MMDA website for the complete copy of the memorandum circulars on vehicle towing and impounding.

Source: http://www.mmda.gov.ph/index.php/13-legal-matters/mmc-resolutions/95-mmda-resolution-no-02-33

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MMDA Motorcycle Lanes

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

MMDA’s motorcycle lane starts today October 17, 2011.
If you’re a motorcycle buff, you better start knowing your rightful place on the road.

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has begun its implementation of its motorcycle lane scheme along Commonwealth Avenue and Macapagal Boulevard on Monday.

The MMDA said beginning today, motorcycles traveling along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City will only be allowed to use the avenue’s 4th lane.

Motorcycles traveling along the Macapagal Boulevard in the cities of Parañaque and Pasay, on the other hand, will only be allowed to use the outermost lane.

The MMDA explained that those who wish to make a left turn may shift to inner lanes 100 meters before the boulevard’s intersection.

The motorcycle lanes can still be used by other vehicles, except heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses.

The MMDA explained that the first week of the implementation of the scheme will serve as a dry run.

Beginning October 24, those who will be caught violating the scheme will be fined P500, and will be required to attend a 15-minute on-the-spot seminar.

The MMDA said it also plans to implement the scheme along EDSA Avenue and C-5 Road.

The new scheme is MMDA’s response to the high number of deaths from road accidents involving motorcycles.

The agency’s record shows there have been 7,938 motorcycle accidents and 83 deaths from January to June 2011. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/10/16/11/mmda-starts-motorcycle-lane-dry-run

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