METRO Manila Development Authority acting chairman Thomas Orbos on Friday urged the public to use footbridges instead of risking their lives crossing major thoroughfares.
Orbos made the appeal as the agency continue conducting its anti-jaywalking operations in the National Capital Region.
A total of 210 pedestrians were apprehended during separate operations conducted in the cities of Pasay, Makati and Mandaluyong last Thursday.
Most of those apprehended, according to Orbos, were pedestrians crossing Epifanio de los Santos Avenue at the intersections of Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong, Guadalupe in Makati and Taft-Rotunda in Pasay, totally disregarding the presence of footbridges in the areas.
At least 110 footbridges had been built around Metro Manila. More than half were constructed by the MMDA, while the rest were built by the local government units.
Despite the huge amount of taxpayers’ money that had gone into the construction of footbridges, people continued to cross busy streets and dangerous portions of the roads where they are not supposed to.
This prompted Orbos to issue a memorandum directing traffic enforcers and members of the MMDA Traffic Discipline Office to go against jaywalkers.
He said road accident is one of the major causes of monstrous traffic in the metropolis.
Orbos also reminded motorists, especially drivers of public utility vehicles, to drop off and pick up passengers only on designated loading and unloading bays. He said passengers who alight or ride on the middle of the road or on non-designated stops will be slapped with an anti-jaywalking violation.
“This bad habit can cause danger not only to themselves but also to others. Passengers should learn to obey traffic rules and orderly line up to get on and get off PUVs at designated loading and unloading bays,” he said.
Records from the MMDA’s Anti- Jaywalking Unit showed that a total of 2,211 violators have been apprehended from Jan. 1 up to Feb. 14 this year. Of the figure, around 388 have settled their infractions with the agency, paying P500 fine each while a total of 1, 823 have unsettled penalties.
Violators have the option to pay the P500 fine or render a three-hour community service which is scheduled every last Friday of the month.
The MMDA also deployed a bus to serve as a “mobile classroom” where violators will be given lectures by agency officers on road safety and traffic signs.
“We want to remind the public that not following even the most basic and simplest traffic rules and regulations could trigger bottlenecks. If we truly want to improve the traffic situation in Metro Manila, we should comply with these regulations to keep the traffic moving. Discipline is the key,” Orbos said.
The campaign aimed to highlight the dangers of jaywalking and discipline the public to cross the road only at designated places. Jaywalking along the major thoroughfares and streets is one of the contributory factors to the traffic problems and road accidents in Metro Manila.
In 2014, members of the Metro Manila Council, the MMDA’s policy-making body, approved the proposal of the agency to increase the penalty against jaywalking from P200 to P500 following reports that the numbers of jaywalking incidents are increasing despite numerous government efforts to educate undisciplined pedestrians.