March 11, 2021 at 10:20 pm
Drivers of public utility buses and jeepneys who race against each other to compete for passengers will soon face imprisonment and a fine under a bill passed by the House of Representatives.
House Bill 8916, which the House approved on second reading, prohibits illegal drag racing. Final third reading approval is scheduled next week.
Assistant Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo, author of the bill, says it is not uncommon to see PUV drivers, especially those in Metro Manila, “to race against each other in a contest to pick up passengers.”
“This atrocious practice has resulted in the senseless and totally preventable death of a number of PUV riders and bystanders,” she said.
She said drag racing “does not have a place in our society and a law is needed to ban it.”
She added that the proposed drag racing ban would cover “all vehicles, whether public or private.”
The Castelo bill defines drag racing as “a road race involving two or more vehicles driven side by side within a specified distance at accelerating speeds with the objective to outdo each other, or the employment of vehicle over a common course for the purpose of determining the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicles.”
The proposed law provides that illegal drag racing is “a road race not sanctioned or permitted by government authorities. It also includes a race between public utility vehicles randomly overtaking each other for the purpose of getting to the passengers ahead of another or the mere purpose of outdistancing another at speeds beyond the legal speed limit of a certain road.”
The drag racing prohibition would cover “any type of motorized or electric vehicle, which uses a road, street or highway for the conveyance of people or goods,” including “four-wheeled, three-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles.”
Not covered are heavy equipment and agricultural machineries.
The ban would also apply to drag racing on a private road unless permitted by the local government unit concerned.
The proposed penalties are imprisonment of one year, or a fine of P300,000 to P500,000, or both at the discretion of the court. These would be in addition to other penalties the court may impose for other crimes resulting from drag racing.
The driver’s license of the offender would be suspended for six months. A second offense would result in the violator being perpetually disqualified from being issued a driver’s license.