By Maila Ager, Inquirer.Net
“Rest assured that the two bills – the Anti-Lane Splitting and mandatory membership in organizations from Congress – I will not support (them) and make sure it doesn’t pass in the Senate,” Ejercito, a motorcycle rider himself, said in a statement.
The Anti-Lane Splitting is contained in House Bill No. 1419, which seeks to penalize motorcycle riders who attempt to pass between rows of vehicles on the same road, especially during heavy traffic, while House Bill No. 32 mandates motorcycle riders to join accredited clubs before vehicle registration and license renewal.
Instead of banning lane-splitting, Ejercito urged the government to make lane-splitting or lane sharing safe.
The senator explained that lane splitting could lessen motorcycle riders’ exposure to pollution, bad weather, and other dangerous elements as the time they spend in traffic would be reduced.
“Maaring mas maging harmful sa ating mga motorcycle riders ang pagbabawal sa lane splitting. May mga bansa na ginawang legal ang lane splitting dahil base sa kanilang pag-aaral, mas ligtas para sa mga motorcycle riders ang lane sharing,” he pointed out.
(We might do more harm to our motorcycle riders by banning lane splitting. In some countries, lane splitting has been legalized because studies have shown that it is safer for motorcycle riders to share lanes.)
“Other than prohibiting lane splitting, it would be better for the government to develop guidelines on how we can implement safe lane splitting or lane sharing. Let us always focus on how to make our road safe,” Ejercito said.
According to him, the proposed anti-lane splitting also discriminates against motorcycle drivers since most riders cannot afford to buy larger vehicles and other vehicles are not subject to the same regulations.
Imposing new regulations and penalties “exclusive to motorcycles” will have a heavier impact on economically disadvantaged riders, the senator also said.
Ejercito, at the same time, said that mandating motorcycle riders to join accredited clubs before vehicle registration and license renewal would “inevitably transfer the responsibility of law enforcement from traffic enforcers to motorcycle clubs.”
This requirement, he said, is just an additional layer of bureaucracy and new expenses on the part of motorcycle riders.
“Let’s not punish our fellow riders with unnecessary expenses. Our economic situation is already difficult with the ongoing pandemic,” Ejercito said.
Instead, the senator urged Congress to prioritize his proposed amendments to the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act so that the mandatory installation of oversized license plates in front of motorcycles would be replaced with a radio-frequency identification scanner system.
PHOTO lifted from Senator JV Ejercito’s Facebook page.