MMDA Eyes Random Checkpoints Vs. Drunk Drivers

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To curb accidents on Edsa, random checkpoints will be conducted to test the blood alcohol content of drivers particularly during curfew hours, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Arturo “Jojo” Garcia said on Tuesday.

In a virtual presser, Garcia said recent data showed road crashes involved distracted drivers or those driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

“Nung kinompute namin mula sa accidents na yan, lalong lalo na yung sa mga barrier nga, kadalasan kung hindi naka-inom, nagte-text (When we analyzed these accidents, specifically those involving concrete barriers, they were mostly drunk or texting),” Garcia said.

Since the start of the new Edsa busway, Garcia said there have been around 100 accidents involving private vehicles and concrete barriers along Edsa.

“200,000 vehicles ang dumadaan diyan araw-araw. In 30 days nasa six million yan. Ilang months na, pero ang aksidente less than 100 (There are 200,000 vehicle plying Edsa daily. In 30 days, that’s six million. It has been several months, but there are only 100 accidents),” Garcia said.

Though no concrete plans yet have been made on the proposed random checkpoints, Garcia said it will mostly likely be done during curfew hours.

“Random ang checkpoints. During curfew time na, alam naman natin na ang curfew ng Metro Manila ay 11 p.m. (The checkpoints will be random. During curfew hours, and we know that’s 11 p.m. in Metro Manila),” Garcia said.

He said the checkpoints will be manned by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the MMDA, all equipped with breath analyzers.

Those driving under the influence of alcohol, he said, will face criminal charges and possible jail time.

“Kung kaya natin kasuhan, ipakukulong natin kapag ikaw ay naging guilty dito sa mga sinasabi ko na violations na to. Lalong lalo na yung pag-inom ng alak (If possible, we will file criminal charges they’ll go to jail if found guilty. Especially for DUI),” Garcia said.

Despite the community quarantine measures to contain the coronavirus disease, MMDA’s partial report showed 31,811 road accidents were recorded in Metro Manila from January to August this year.

In 2019, the MMDA logged a total of 69,388 road accidents from January to July. (PNA)

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