The first day of strict implementation of the motorcycle back riding policies netted 1,350 violators, the Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield said on Sunday.
A data from Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that 1,284 motorcycle riders were apprehended on Saturday for failure to install barriers as part of the measures to protect the riders against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
JTF Covid Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said defiance of the back-riding policies would be met with appropriate sanctions based on the guidelines approved by PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“When our motorcycle riders repeatedly pleaded for them to be allowed to back-ride at least their spouses or live-in partners, the National Task Force on Covid-19 listened to their appeal. What the NTF was asking in return is for them to install the approved barriers because it is integral for their protection and safety against coronavirus infection,” Eleazar said in a statement.
Eleazar said the government gave the motorcycle owners 22 days to install the required barrier.
“As per Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, we are not requiring all motorcycle riders to install barriers. But if they are going to use their motorcycles for back-riding, then they should follow the rules,” he said.
Based on the PNP guideline, back-riding married and living-in partners without the required barrier, not wearing face masks and not wearing helmets fall under reckless driving with penalties ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP10,000 depending on the number of the same offense committed.
The law enforcers apprehended 701 of the 1,284 riders for reckless driving while 580 riders were accosted for failure to comply with the installation of barriers while having a back-rider other than their spouses or live-in partners.
The PNP Highway Group has the most number of arrested violators with 284 followed by Police Regional Office-7 with 187, PRO-5 (158), PRO-9 (129), and PRO-12 (120). (PNA)