A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday voiced concern over the increasing number of deadly accidents cause by reckless motorcyclists who turn public roads into racetracks that endangers not just themselves but other road users as well, including pedestrians.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said that several highways, such as the Marilaque (Marikina-Laguna-Quezon) highway, Sumulong highway, the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway, Manila North Road and Aguinaldo Highway are being turned into weekend racetracks by motorcyclists who counterflow at high speed on no overtaking lanes.
“These so-called hyperbeasts are even proud of their stupidity that they even post their stunts on social media. Unfortunately, their reckless disregard for safety does not just endanger them and their crew but other motorists and non-motorists as well. I know many cases of several cyclists being sideswiped by these motorcyclists,” Nograles, member of the House majority bloc, said.
“If they think that they are really good and skillful motorcyclists, they should go to legitimate racetracks. This is the right place to show-off and not on busy highways,” Nograles added.
He said what is more distracting are the noisy and ear-shattering mufflers of these motorcyclists who usually ride in big groups.
While he acknowledged how motorcycles contribute to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, Nograles said motorcycle riders have constantly been the top victim of road crash injuries and deaths since 2010 as studies show.
Citing its Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, Nograles said the World Health Organization said that 53 percent of reported road traffic fatalities in the Philippines are riders of motorized two- or three-wheeler vehicles.
Pedestrians make up the second biggest chunk of road user deaths at 19 percent, followed by drivers of four-wheeled vehicles at 14 percent and their passengers at 11 percent, Nograles added.
Similarly, data from the Department of Health, on the other hand, showed that 65 percent or 19,852 out of 30,412 recorded injuries and fatalities due to road accidents in 2015 involved people riding on motorcycles.
The DoH also noted a drastic increase on motorcycle riders being involved in road crash injuries since 2010, from 6,244 injuries to 19,852 injuries in 2015, said Nograles.
Given these figures, Nograles urged the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group to launch a campaign against reckless motorcycle riders.
“The PNP-HPG could start by assigning policemen along highways, which are being used as regular routes for motorcycle riders especially during weekends,” he said.
He also urged organized motorcycle groups to promote safety and responsible driving among their members.