MMDA hikes fines, penalties for EDSA busway violators

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has increased the fines and penalties up to PHP30,000 for illegally driving through the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) busway to deter repeat offenders. In a press conference on Wednesday, acting MMDA chair Don Artes said apart from increasing the fines from PHP1,000 for each offense, the driver's license would also get suspended for repeated violations. Under MMDA Regulation No. 23-002, the new fines and penalties will be PHP5,000 for the first offense and a second offense will result in a PHP10,000 fine, one-month suspension of driver's license and participation in a road safety seminar. Repeating the violation for a third time will also result in a PHP20,000 fine plus one-year suspension of driver's license, while a fourth offense will be a PHP30,000 fine plus a recommendation to the Land Transportation Office for revocation of driver's license. The fines and penalties will apply to both public and private vehicles. The EDSA busway is for exclusive use of public utility buses, ambulances and marked government vehicles responding to emergencies. He said the increase in fines and penalties is neither 'anti-poor' nor a money-making scheme. 'Based on our data and observation, there are those who are willing to pay the PHP1,000 fines and violate the exclusivity of the bus lane because they can afford it. Kalimitan kotse ng mayayaman (Usually cars of rich people),' Artes said. There is no exact date for the implementation of the new fines and penalties but he noted that the changes will take effect after an information campaign. Data from the MMDA's Traffic Ticket Management Division show that there were 11,027 violators of the Bus/Public Utility Jeepney Ordinance or MMDA Reg. 18-007, Series of 2018 from January until Oct. 24. The most violations were recorded in June and July with 1,916 and 4,395 traffic tickets issued respectively. New window hour coding scheme Meanwhile, Artes said the new window hour for the unified vehicle volume reduction program (UVVRP) -- or the number coding scheme -- will not yet be implemented despite being approved by the Metro Manila Council. 'We will assess first the situation of Metro Manila roads from November 6 to 12, after the return of vacationers from the provinces for the Undas break,' he said. To date, he said the current number coding hours of 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will remain in effect. 'We expect 15 to 20 percent additional vehicle volume as the holiday nears, that's the time we will decide whether or not to implement the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. number coding scheme in Metro Manila,' he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency