Muntinlupa City, Philippines | August 9, 2023 – The Philippines has embraced using motorcycles for daily commutes and delivery of goods and services, mainly fueled by their convenience in dealing with traffic and relatively lower cost than owning a car.
As the number of motorcycle riders continues to rise in the Philippines, there has been a corresponding increase in motorcycle taxis and delivery services. However, this upward trend has also resulted in a higher incidence of motorcycle accidents during the first four months of 2023. The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has reported approximately 4,000 motorcycle crashes, which already account for half of the 8,342 incidents recorded in 2022.
The alarming issues in motorcycle crashes in the country call for greater caution for riders to be more mindful in navigating the roads and adhere to the laws designed to safeguard their safety and that of pedestrians. To promote safer roads in the country, MDPPA shares these important laws that every rider should be aware of.
Land Transportation and Traffic Code. Also known as Republic Act No. 4136, this serves as legislation governing the registration and operations of motor vehicles and the licensing of owners, dealers, conductors, drivers, and other related matters. It covers the rules and regulations for driver’s licenses, general traffic rules, vehicle registration and operation, traffic enforcement and penalties, traffic safety education, and more.
Additionally, LTO Memorandum Circular 2019-2176, in consonance with RA4136, as amended, stipulates a strict implementation of standardized Driver Education, which aims to enhance awareness of safety when using public roads and effective communication with other road users. This is the fundamental law every road user, both motorcycle riders and vehicle owners, should be aware of. Any violation under the Republic Act will lead to corresponding fines and penalties.
Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009. Also known as Republic Act No. 10054, this requires all motorcycle riders to wear approved protective helmets and imposes penalties for non-compliance to the standards. Its objective is to prioritize the utmost safety of riders from any “ruinous and extremely injurious effects of fatal or life-threatening accidents and crashes.” Furthermore, the act encourages efforts to promote the proper usage of helmets among motorists.
Failure to comply with the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 will result in a fine, such as Php1,500 for the first offense, Php3,000 for the second offense, and Php5,000 for the third offense. However, if a motorcycle rider continues to violate this law, the fourth and following offenses will lead to a Php10,000 fine and confiscation of a driver’s license.
Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013. One of the most common vehicular accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol and dangerous drugs. Enacted as Republic Act No. 10586, the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 addresses driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs, and other similar substances. Its jurisdiction covers all drivers and riders operating both public and private vehicles.
Riders or drivers who break this law will face different penalties depending on the situation. For violators that do not cause physical injuries or homicide, they will pay Php20,000 up to Php80,000 fine and be imprisoned for three months. If it leads to physical injuries, individuals at fault will be subjected to the applicable penalty mentioned in the Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code and pay a fine of Php100,000 to Php200,000.
Other than that, violations resulting in death will allow authorities to impose a Php300,000 to Php500,000 fine and a penalty stated in the Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code. With non-professional riders or drivers, the first conviction will result in confiscation and a 12-month suspension of license, while the second conviction will lead to its cancellation. Meanwhile, the first conviction for professional riders or drivers will enable authorities to confiscate and permanently revoke the license.
Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015. Back riding or pillion riding is common in the motorcycle riding community. However, it poses significant risks, especially when children are involved.
Enacted as the Children’s Safety on Motorcycle Act of 2015, this regulation strictly prohibits “any person to drive the vehicle with a child on board on public roads where there is a heavy volume of vehicles.” It also prohibits driving on roads with many fast-moving vehicles.
Any individual found driving with a child on a busy street without appropriate protection will be subjected to corresponding fines, such as Php3,000 for the first offense, Php5,000 for the second offense, and Php10,000 for the third offense with a one-month license suspension. After that, the following offenses will result in a Php10,000 fine and immediate cancellation of the driver’s license.
Anti-Distracted Driving Act. Also called Republic Act No. 10913, this law prohibits all riders and drivers from utilizing gadgets whenever on the road, whether it is to read, create, or send messages, accept or make calls, and more. If a motorist violates this law, the person will pay a fine of Php5,000 for the first offense and Php10,000 for the second offense.
For the third offense, the violator will need to face a Php15,000 fine together with a three-month suspension of the driver’s license. In the fourth and following offenses, the motorist will be penalized with a Php20,000 fine and cancellation of driver’s license.
Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act. This law is also known as the Republic Act No. 11235, which “prevents and penalizes the use of motorcycles in the commission of crimes by requiring bigger, readable and color-coded number plates and identification marks, and for other purposes.”