Makati City has started imposing tougher traffic laws to avoid cases of drunk drivers, intervening intersections, and other road-related violations.
The city’s Public Safety Department enforced the higher fines and penalties starting September 16 to improve road safety and traffic flow, the city government said.
“The sheer volume of vehicles that ply our road network every day makes it necessary for us to take steps to ensure that motorists strictly abide by traffic rules and exercise discipline and courtesy on the road. We believe stiffer penalties are an effective deterrent to traffic violations that often cause accidents and traffic congestion,” city mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. said in a news release posted on the city’s web portal (http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/news/view_news.jsp?news_id=2776).
According to the city government, Makati has an average daily vehicular volume of 800,000 on regular workdays.
The higher fines and penalties include:
* Driving over a Yellow Box at an intersection, from P500 to P1,000 for the first offense, and for the second and third offenses, P2,500 and P5,000, respectively
* Disobedience to traffic control signals, a fine of P2,500 and/or suspension of driver’s license; for a public utility vehicle, suspension of Certificate of Public Convenience.
The ordinance mandates a time limit of 15 seconds for a driver to move his or her vehicle out of a Yellow Box, reckoned from the time the traffic light facing him or her turns red.
Drunk drivers or those driving motor vehicles under the influence of drugs face stiffer sanctions – in addition to the P2,500 fine and/or imprisonment for the first offense, their vehicles will be impounded.
The city will also strongly recommend to the Land Transportation Organization (LTO) the suspension or revocation of the drunk driver’s license.
On the other hand, business establishments will be required to refrain from serving liquors or intoxicating beverages to customers driving a vehicle.
They are also required to post reminders against drunk driving in conspicuous areas in their place of business.
Establishments that fail to comply with this provision will be slapped with a P2,500 fine and suspension of business permit for the first offense.
The ordinance also prescribes additional regulations for public utility vehicles such as jeepneys and taxis – erring drivers face a P500 fine and will be required to attend a seminar on traffic rules.
It also decrees that PUVs must stop only at designated PUV stops or taxi stands for not more than 15 seconds to load or unload passengers, and must keep their vehicle’s front and rear tires within 18 inches of the roadside edge of the curb.
PUVs are also prohibited from stopping at designated stops that are empty and when no passenger on board is requesting for a stop.
Empty taxis are prohibited from bypassing a taxi stand where passengers are waiting, unless said passengers indicate they do not wish to board the taxi.
As for tricycles, they are banned not only on national roads in Makati but on all roads within the Central Business District of the city.
The penalty for violators is increased to P1,000 from P500, in addition to impounding of the tricycle.
On the mayor’s orders, Makati traffic enforcers will also enforce an ordinance banning the use of cellular phones while driving.
Violators face a fine of P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense, and P3,000 or imprisonment for the third offense.
City Ordinance No. 2001-055 regulates the use of cellular phones, beepers and laser lights while driving or operating a motor vehicle and inside movie houses, theaters or places of worship where their use can cause nuisance.
“A number of vehicular accidents have been traced to inattentive drivers who call or text using a mobile phone or similar gadgets while driving,” the city government said.