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Monday, May 27, 2024

MMDA flags more motorists using busway

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Despite stiffer penalties and a series of public reminders, authorities continue to apprehend motorists passing through the exclusive busway along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

A motorcycle ride-hailing service rider is facing heavier punishment after trying to escape and nearly colliding with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcers, who apprehended him for illegally using the lane dedicated to public utility buses.

Reports showed that members of the MMDA Special Operations Group – Strike Force flagged down the rider with a passenger at EDSA-Cubao around 8:30 a.m. The rider pulled over his motorcycle, nearly colliding with three traffic enforcers who tried to stop him.

Earlier, the Philippine Basketball Association ordered a one-day suspension against Meralco Bolts player Raymond Almazan for allegedly trying to bribe a traffic enforcer for using the EDSA Bus lane.

Also recently, former Ilocos Sur governor Luis Singson came up with a public apology for using the Bus Lane in the Cubao area. He paid the P5,000 fine and donated P200,000 to the MMDA for his mistake.

Operatives of the Department of Transportation – Special Action and Intelligence Committee for Transportation (SAICT) also apprehended a black Sports Utility Vehicle with a protocol plate “7” assigned to senators for using the exclusive lane in the area of Mandaluyong City. 

However, the SUV sped away after the driver handed over a license to the SAICT officer who apprehended the vehicle.

The driver was discovered to be a driver of the family of Senator Francis Escudero, who offered an apology for the incident.

Aside from politicians and celebrities, police and military officials were found not on legitimate operations, and some ‘VIPs” not authorized to use the bus lane were also apprehended recently by both MMDA and SAICT traffic enforcers. 

The vehicles authorized to use the EDSA Busway are passenger buses, ambulances, fire trucks, Philippine National Police vehicles, and busway project service vehicles (construction, security, janitorial, and maintenance services).

The EDSA Busway can also be used by the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Supreme Court Chief Justice to assist in the performance of their duties.

Violators will be penalized with: First Offense – P5,000; Second Offense – P10,000 plus one-month suspension of driver’s license, and required to undergo a road safety seminar; Third Offense – P20,000 plus one-year suspension of driver’s license, and Fourth Offense – P30,000 plus recommendation to Land Transportation Office for revocation of driver’s license.

The government initiated the EDSA Bus Lane program for the commuting public to experience a more accessible, convenient, and faster mass transport system.

The MMDA stated that designating the innermost lane of EDSA exclusively for buses will help decongest traffic, thus reducing travel time to and from north-to-south entry points of the 28.3 km highway.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline Daming pasaway! MMDA flags more motorists for using EDSA Busway

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