Monday, 11 June 2012

Editorial – No-helmet crackdown

A safety or crash helmet like the one in picture will give the bike rider a better chance to survive a fall.

IN THIS edition, we carry a report on the drive against bike riders who wear no safety helmets.

The crackdown was launched by the municipal government of Jose Panganiban at the beginning of last month.

A few days ago, a frequent visitor to Mambulao from Metro Manila has noticed that all riders – both the driver and the back rider – that she had seen were wearing the required crash helmets and she quipped: “Aba, halos lahat ng mga naka-motor eh may helmet … bakit kaya?”

Apparently, the initiative, which was resurrected from a five-year- old municipal ordinance banning riders with no-safety helmet, has been relative success.

We could say that the campaign up to this time has succeeded in removing from our roads potential addition to death statistics.

MWBuzz has reported (in this edition) four incidents of motorcycle mishaps that claimed at least four lives last April. They involved three men and a woman who died violently as their heads split after crashing on the concrete pavement.

The scenario of their deaths was common: A bike rider was driving ala- Evel Knievel -- that late motorcycle daredevil and stunt artist – along the town road with the usual disregard of pedestrians and passengers in other vehicles.

The presence of paved road in many spots in the poblacion has also encouraged bikers to drive wild. He/she would weave in and out of the lane as if trying to beat a deadline somewhere.

And he/she wore no safety or crash helmet.


After six weeks of operations that covered both the municipal and national roads on the outskirts of the poblacion, there seems to be a remarkable drop in motorcycle accidents.

Being careful this time is just a natural human reaction. The riders are aware that they are being watched by no less than 10 “anti-no-helmet biker” enforcers who are posted in strategic spots around town.

Their job is to check violators and impose a P100 fine for such a violation. And this has a dividend alongside – they are also able to ferret out unlicensed driver, badly maintained machine, expired driving licenses and more.

Since the enforcers get half of the fines collected, their eagerness to catch more violators is overwhelming.

This campaign is very timely because very soon, the entire municipality would see long stretches of cemented roads, which could be more fun for bikers to drive on.

Take for instance the Parang-Larap road – this is a more-or-less a six to seven kilometers of uninterrupted cemented road.

Just imagine the fun it would give a biker, who would love driving this long ribbon of cement at top speed, and non-stop.

So it really make sense to protect our bikers by requiring them to wear safety helmets after giving them a smooth road to speed on, but hopefully, not to die on.

-  Alfredo P Hernandez

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