Helmet Law enforced today PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 January 2013 14:56

The Land Transportation Office (LTO-9), along with deputized enforcement agencies like the PNP and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) will start today its campaign on the wearing of proper protective helmets by motorcyclists and back riders as prescribed by a national law.

A conference of all the LTO directors was called by DOTC yesterday to discuss the full implementation of R.A 10054 otherwise known as the Motorcycle Helmet Act, according to LTO-9 Director Aminola Abaton over a radio interview yesterday morning.

However, Abaton said through a text message late yesterday afternoon that they are still trying to resolve some gray areas in the said law which have been described by many as  “oppressive” and anti-poor.

The law mandates all motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets at all times while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway.     Standard protective motorcycle helmets are appropriate types of helmets for motorcycle riders that comply with the specifications issued by the Department of   Trade and Industry (DTI).

Any person who uses, sells and distributes substandard motorcycle helmets or those which do not bear the PS mark or the ICC certificate will be punished with a fine of not less than P3,000  for the first offense, and P5, 000.00 for the second offense, without prejudice to other penalties under Republic Act No. 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines.”

Should the so-called gray areas be resolved, Abaton said, the implementation pushes through today nationwide in all roads and streets including riders of Habal-Habal.
However, the law exempts tricycle drivers from complying with the mandatory wearing of motorcycle helmets.

“We have done the massive information since July of last year. I think every motorist is fully aware of the implementation of the law,” Abaton said.

The DTI, through the BPS (Bureau of Product Standard), shall conduct a mandatory testing of all manufactured and imported motorcycle helmets in the Philippines.  The BPS shall periodically issue a list of motorcycle helmet manufacturers and importers and the brands which pass the standards of the BPS, to be published in a newspaper of general circulation or in its website.

The law allows at least three types of protective helmet to be worn by motorists—full face helmet, open face and the J-type.

Meanwhile, the idea of passing an ordinance relative to the kind of helmet that motorcyclists  should wear, of course in conformity with the national law (R.A 10054), will no longer be a priority measure of the City Council this year.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde said the matter will be subjected to further study after the principal author, Councilor Jaime Cabato, withdrew his proposed ordinance December of last year.

Due to security reason, the Council exerted efforts to adopt an ordinance that will somehow allow a certain types of protective helmets to be applicable to Zamboanga City.

Cabato withdrew his proposal after learning that the kind of helmet that he was trying to introduce (open face), will not serve the purpose since faces of motorcyclists  could not still be easily indentified because of its visors.

Panic buying of protective helmets has been observed since December. —Jimmy Villaflores