Cebu City—The top official of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas on Thursday vowed to be more proactive against traffic law violators who are up to challenge the agency’s enforcers and deputized agents in 2020.
Victor Emmanuel Caindec, regional director of LTO-7, said he is saddened by the increase of traffic law violators who were caught in 2019 as compared to the figures in 2018.
“I couldn’t say that I’m happy with the result but I want to inform the public that we have a serious problem last year,” Caindec said in Cebuano in a radio interview.
He said the almost 18,000 apprehensions in 2018 have increased to almost 40,000 in 2019 which either means the number of motorists who do not respect the traffic rules have grown or “just now that they have strict law enforcement operations that got caught.”
Among the violations that the LTO-7 will work on this year will be against drunk drivers, which, Caindec said, is one of the causes of most road crashes in the region.
He said former Dangerous Drugs Board Undersecretary Paul Clarence Oaminal raised to him the issue on Republic Act 10586, or Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013, which was challenged before the Regional Trial Court in Toledo City, Cebu.
In this case, the court issued a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the law which delists drug test result as a prerequisite in obtaining or renewing a driver’s license and refocused LTO’s on-road inspection against drivers who are either drunk or have taken illegal drugs.
“Andam na pud ang atong law enforcement side. Duna na tay 16 kabuok alcohol breath analyzers (We are ready in the law enforcement side. We already have 16 breath analyzers),” he said, adding that in 2019, the LTO partnered with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police in random drug testing.
The agency will also be stringent in the crackdown against motorcycle drivers who will continue to defy safety rules and drive their motorcycles while wearing slippers, not wearing helmet, despite being underage, no registration, or has expired registration and no driver’s license or has expired license, he said.
Another challenge, he said, is the proliferation of electronic bikes in the interior peripheries in Cebu.
He said many motorists are violating traffic laws, risking their own safety.
“Helmet is already a proven and tested apparatus needed to prevent major head injuries. However, many of them wear helmets that are not certified [by the Bureau of Product Standard of the Department of Trade and Industry] which could easily break upon impact. Those who were using the proper helmet were saved from supposed head injuries,” he added.
Caindec said they will strictly implement a memorandum circular from the LTO central office prohibiting pickup trucks from carrying passengers at the tailgate to prevent loss of many lives during road crashes.
He reminded pickup truck owners that the penalty for overloading is P6,000.
As the LTO-7 has only 548 deputized agents in Central Visayas, Caindec urged motorists to follow traffic rules even if there are no enforcers on duty, saying that following the rules will ensure road safety.