CATCHING illegally parked vehicles using CCTV, handheld mobile devices and digital cameras will soon become a policy of the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Members of the Metro Manila Council are set to sign a resolution allowing the MMDA to enforce its No Physical Contact Apprehension policy and use the CCTV cameras in catching motorists who will illegally park their vehicles on sidewalks and in no parking zones on both secondary and major streets of the metropolis.
The MMC, composed of 17 mayors and other local government officials in Metro Manila, is the governing board and policy-making body of the MMDA.
“People must understand that we will not tolerate illegal parking,” said MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, adding that illegally parked vehicles is a contributing factor to the worsening traffic situation in the National Capital Region.
Lim said the no contact apprehension scheme has been effective with the help of closed circuit television cameras, digital cameras and other handheld devices in catching erring motorists.
“There remains a proliferation of illegally parked motor vehicles along the national, city and municipal roads of Metro Manila despite earnest efforts exerted by the MMDA and Metro Manila local government units in road clearing,” he said.
Lim said they came up with the decision to impose the no contact policy to avoid possible confrontation or heated argument between MMDA men and the car owners during road clearing operations.
“Thus, this regulation can be a big boost to the agency’s campaign against illegal parking and help avert heated argument between traffic enforcers and vehicle owners during clearing operations,” added Lim.
“They can’t deny because we have photos or videos of their act,” he said.
At present, the MMDA has 300 CCTV cameras installed in strategic areas in Metro Manila.
The MMDA listed these areas where parking are prohibited: all national roads in Metro Manila; primary and secondary roads of cities and municipalities in Metro Manila that are: within six meters of any intersection or curved lane; within four meters of driveways or entrances to any fire station, hospital, clinic and other similar establishment; within four meters of fire hydrants; on the roadside of any legally parked vehicle; on pedestrian crosswalks; in front of any authorized driveway; on sidewalks, paths and alleys not intended for parking; at the foot or near bridges and at any place where official signs have been erected prohibiting parking and/or declared No Parking Zone by the MMDA such as the Mabuhay Lane, and Other areas duly declared as “No Parking Zone” provided by law or ordinances.
The MMDA initially planned teaming up with the Department of Science and Technology to strengthen the implementation of the no contact apprehension Policy against erring drivers.
Lim said the DoST has developed a technology-based application dubbed as “Catch All” or Contactless Apprehension of Traffic Violators on 24-hour Basis-All Vehicle Detection System.
He said under the Catch All system, all types of vehicles and violations will be detected via smart camera video capture.
The system will display the vehicle’s detection and tracking, profiling, plate localization and plate character recognition for more detailed traffic violation identification.
The MMDA and the DoST will also put up outdoor LED screen 24-hour notification system with traffic violation information system (which includes car profile, plate number, violation, date and time of violation) for a more transparent apprehension.
“With this technology, we can easily identify erring motorists in real time without obstruction of traffic flow but still ensures that the violators are still being caught and penalized,” Lim explained.
The agency also used the policy in apprehending violators of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, a law prohibiting public utility and private vehicles drivers to use their phones and other mobile devices while on the road.
Lim said under the no contact apprehension policy, the MMDA will send summons or notice to the vehicle’s owner or operator to identify the driver of the vehicle during the time the traffic violation was captured by the CCTV camera.
President Rodrigo Duterte, during his second State of the Nation Address, mentioned he want all roads in the country’s biggest cities cleared of all illegally parked vehicles to ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the metropolis.
The government’s road and bridge projects will mean nothing if they will remain filled by illegally parked vehicles and other obstructions, the president said.
Duterte said he directed the MMDA and the local government units to immediately clear the roads and major thoroughfares of all unnecessary obstruction including vehicles parked on the street. He added he is planning to have a golden age of infrastructure under his term with big-ticket projects such as roads, airports, and bridges.
The government is hoping that through this persistent campaign, it will be able to change the selfish behavior of most of these irresponsible drivers and individuals violating traffic rules.
Any driver who shall illegally park his motor vehicle on any public road, street or thoroughfare in Metro Manila shall pay a fine of P500.00.