Truckers get reprieve from anti-overloading law
Truckers can heave a sigh of relief for now as the suspension of enforcement of the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (GVW) for trucks and trailers is extended until the end of this year.In a joint advisory issued last month by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Transportation, the previous deadline was moved from June 30, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017. The deadline extension was issued in response to the request from the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) to give them more time in acquiring additional transport equipment.
The DPWH and DOTC earlier modified the implementing rules and regulations of RA 8794 after consultations with groups of truckers and haulers. Under RA 8794, trucks and trailers under Code 12-2 and Code 12-3 with loads exceeding GVWs of 41,500 kilograms and 42,000 kilograms, respectively, and load per axle of more than 13,500 kilograms are prohibited to travel as they are considered overloaded. According to the DPWH, “an amount equivalent to 25 percent of the motor vehicle user’s charge (or registration fee) is imposed by the Land Transportation Office on overloaded trucks and trailers.”
“With the extension, we expect truck/trailer owners will upgrade their units to comply with the Codes 12-2 and 12-3 to have maximum allowable GVW of 41,500 and 42,000 kilograms respectively before Jan. 1, 2018,” said DPWH Secretary Mark Villar in a statement. Villar pointed out the importance of strict compliance with the policy, as overloaded vehicles cause early deterioration and damage on quality roads and threaten road safety of drivers and other road users.
Villar further noted that based on the operation of the department’s weighbridges nationwide, there was a downward trend in anti-overloading violation in the last 10 years. In 2006, a huge 46 percent or 174,256 out of the 374,763 trucks that were weighed were overloaded whereas in 2016, it went down to 13 percent with only 41,620 out of the 311,099 weighed trucks were non-compliant.
DPWH and DOTr through the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will enforce the anti-overloading law with the operation of 24/7 weighbridge stations and portable weighing machines at strategic locations through Anti Truck Overloading Mobile Enforcement (ATOME) along national roads, and imposition of penalties on overloading vehicles.
Under the law, overloaded trucks are fined with 25 percent of the amount of their motor vehicle user’s charge (MVUC), applicable to the vehicle at the time of infringement.
The anti-overloading policy is pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 8794 otherwise known as “An Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle Users Charge on Owners of all Types of Motor Vehicle and for Other Purposes”, which aims to promote motorist safety and prevent early deterioration of roads caused by overloading.