BY GERRY LEE GORIT
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Northern Mindanao is intensifying its campaign for the mandatory use of helmets by motorcycle drivers and backriders ensure safety and to lessen the rising number of fatalities in road accidents.
LTO~10 Supervising Transportation Regulation Officer Ferdinand Flores said interviewed by the The Philippine Star the strict implementation of the required wearing of standard protective helmets by motorists is pursuant to Republic Act 10054 which aims to save lives of motorcyle drivers, their passengers and pedestrians alike.
“The law clearly states that this is mandatory and motorists must abide by it at all times when travelling, and in any roads,” Flores said. Flores made this emphasis as some local government units (LGUs), by virtue of their autonomy under the Local Government Code, have already passed local ordinances preventing the use of helmets within their jurisdictions.
“The usual contention by LGUs in pursuing this type of ordinance is crime prevention as local police have a hard time identifying suspects like those riding in tandem because their faces were cancealed by their helmets,” he said.
Although he respects and agrees with the police’s contention that this has contributed to increasing number of unresolved crimes, Flores said that such proposition and the underlying local ordinances has controverted the spirit of Republic Act 10054 enacted by Congress in 2009.
Flores, however, admitted that in adherence to the local autonomy of LGUs, the validity of those ordinances remains unchallenged. He pointed out that there were also LGUs that have imposed a no helmet, no travel policy.
“There were diverse opinions on the matter and we recognize that,” Flores said. But Flores also emphasized that the standard helmets provided for under the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10054, are those identified, …