In the Philippines, a motorist can still drive despite having more than 500 traffic violations.
This problem prompted the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to sign an agreement with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to interconnect their data systems for quicker sharing of information on motorists and vehicles involved in traffic violations and apprehensions.
The agreement was signed by MMDA chair Romando Artes and LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante on June 29.
The accord will bolster the two agencies’ law enforcement and traffic apprehension functions via more active and timely data-sharing, and will help boost road safety by swiftly identifying and weeding out drivers and vehicles involved in multiple violations and traffic incidents.
Artes said the system will make the MMDA’s traffic enforcement and apprehension systems more efficient, with real-time access to pertinent LTO records within the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS).
The LTMS is the LTO’s own data repository and services backbone that is online and client-based, allowing access to stakeholders 24/7.
Aside from driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, and vehicle safety inspection records, the LTMS is now interconnected to allied parties like vehicle sellers, insurance companies and government agencies like the Government Service Insurance System and Bureau of Customs.
“This will allow the MMDA to more swiftly determine the ownership and address of vehicle owners caught by its non-contact apprehension system (NCAP), so the parties involved can be informed and their violations settled,” Artes said.
The new partnership will also enhance the NCAP thru an email/text message notification. This will serve as advance notification to the traffic violators but they will still be receiving a printed copy of the notice for the complete details of the apprehension.
The NCAP is a policy that utilizes CCTV, digital cameras and/or other gadget or technology to capture videos and images to apprehend vehicles violating traffic rules and regulations.
Galvante said with the agreement, “we can quickly pinpoint drivers committing multiple traffic violations resulting in the suspension of their licenses and their mandatory training on road safety and traffic rules. Drivers with violations will also be prevented from receiving the new ten-year licenses that are now being granted by the LTO.”
The LTO will be speedily furnished with the MMDA’s data on traffic apprehensions, violations, and vehicle alarms which will be logged onto the records of drivers and vehicles enrolled in the LTMS.
The MMDA has committed to furnish the LTO with this data starting from 2016. It will also be furnishing the LTO with new records of these violations, apprehensions and alarms on a daily basis.
Both agencies will also share data on alarms for motor vehicles involved in traffic violations or incidents, so that parties can be more swiftly apprehended or informed of their violations.
Three years ago, the MMDA accounted more than 1,700 public utility drivers who committed multiple violations since 2006.
One of those, based on the agency’s database, was an active professional passenger bus driver who committed 533 violations since the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Among the violations committed by the driver were obstruction, disregarding traffic sign, loading/unloading, yellow lane, and open door.
This was one of the concerns raised by the MMDA in seeking help from the LTO.
Under Republic Act 4136, also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines, a driver who commits at least three times of same violations during a 12-month period may face automatic suspension of his/her driver’s license for at least one to two years.