Saturday, March 22, 2008

Estrada proposes exclusive lanes for motorcycles

A bill has been filed in the Senate that seeks to establish motorcyle lanes along busy roads and streets across the country to minimize motorcycle accidents. Authored by Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Senate Bill No. 2076, known as "Motorcycle Lane Act of 2008," requires the construction of one-half-meter lanes on both sides of the road for exclusive use of motorcyles.
Under the bill, the Department of Public Works and Highways, in coordination with local government units, is tasked to construct the motorcycle lanes.

If passed into a law, motorcycle drivers who do not use the lanes will be penalized by a maximum of six years imprisonment or fined of not less than P5,000 but not more than P20,000, or both at the discretion of the court. The DPWH and any local government unit which violate any provision of this Act shall be fined of not less than P10,000 but not more than P20,000 at the discretion of the court. The penalty does not prohibit any motorcycle driver who met an accident due to the absence of the lane from filing damage claims against the DPWH and the local government units that violated this Act.

The bill seeks an appropriation of P10 million to construct the lanes. In his explanatory note, Estrada said accidents involving motorcycles continue to increase. Citing data from the Metro Manila Development Authority, Estrada said there were 116 deaths and injuries in motorcylce accidents in Metro Manila in 2006 alone. He said this represents a 26.6 percent increase over 2005 figure. Estrada said Congress had passed a law requiring motorcycle drivers tp wear helmets but it was not enough to minimize deaths and injuries to motorcycle riders.