The Metro Manila Development Authority on Friday branded as fake news the reports that traffic enforcers will no longer flag down traffic violators in place of the agency’s “no contact apprehension” policy.
Under the no contact policy, traffic violations are recorded using the CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras strategically placed along Metro Manila roads.
MMDA acting general manager Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. appealed to the public to ignore and disregard the erroneous report that circulated online and rely only to official MMDA social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter as source of information.
The report that circulated online stated that the “no contact” policy shall be enforced starting this month and no MMDA traffic enforcer will flag down driver for any traffic violation on the road. It also said registered car owners will be informed of their violation via post mail and will be given only five days to contest the violation.
“It’s fake news. We deny this report. It is not true there’s no more ground apprehension,” said Garcia, in a press briefing held at the MMDA main office in Makati City.
Garcia said the no contact policy, under the leadership of Chairman Danilo Lim, is being strictly implemented.
Aside from being an effective tool in catching erring motorists, the policy also lessens opportunities for corruption, bribery and even confrontation between the apprehended motorist and the traffic enforcer, he added.
“We want to remind the drivers that there is an eye in the sky monitoring you. They cannot just violate traffic rules even if they do not see any traffic enforcer on the road,” said Garcia.
More than 100,000 erring motorists were cited for various traffic violations for the last three months under the no contact apprehension system.
The agency also use the no contact scheme in apprehending violators of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, a law prohibiting public utility and private vehicle drivers from using their phones and other mobile devices while on the road.
Most of those caught by the CCTV were drivers who violated the speed limit, illegal parking, disregarding the no loading and unloading zone, beating the red light, swerving, blocking intersections, disregarding traffic signs, making illegal turns, illegal overtaking, entering the yellow lane, defying the closed-door policy and bus segregation scheme, motorcycle lane, among others.
MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said under the 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.
The notice which will be sent to the owner or operator contains the date, time, location and traffic violation. It also contains a statement that the motorist has the right to contest before the MMDA-Traffic Adjudication Division within seven days upon receipt of the summons.
Within 15 days from receipt of the adverse TAD resolution, the driver may still file a motion for reconsideration. If the MR is denied, the driver may further file an appeal before the Office of the Chairman where the decision shall be final and executory.
“The drivers will not be able to renew the vehicle registration until the fines are settled,” said Lim.
At present, there are 300 CCTV cameras installed in strategic areas in Metro Manila.