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LTO flags down 5 motorcycles with small children on board

CEBU, Philippines - Traffic enforcers yesterday apprehended five violators of the Children's Safety on Motorcycles Act, the Land Transportation Office-7 said.

LTO-7 operations chief Joel Maloloy-on told The FREEMAN that the apprehensions were made on Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Cebu City.

He said the drivers were found transporting children ages three to four.

"Amoa lang silang gipahibalo nga dili pwede pasakyon ang mga bata sa motor nga ang tiil dili makaabot sa foot peg ug dili makagakos sa hawak. Wala ra man pud sila nasuko," said Maloloy-on.

(We told them that it is now illegal for children to ride a motorcycle if their feet could not reach the foot peg of the vehicle and if they could not wrap their arms around the driver’s waist. They did not resist.)

Maloloy-on said the driver's licenses of the apprehended motorcycle drivers were confiscated. They were then issued temporary operator's permits.

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The TOP is valid for three days. Within such period, the violators are required to pay a fine so their licenses will be released back to them.

"Kung dili nila malukat ilang license within 72 hours, inig lapse sa 15 days, ma-suspenso ang ilang license for 30 days from the time of apprehension," Maloloy-on explained.

Under the new law, first-offense violators will be slapped with a penalty of P3,000, second-offense P5,000, and third-offense P10,000 and suspension of driver’s license for a month.

Beyond third offense, a violator will face permanent revocation of license.

The Department of Transportation believes that the new law is a proactive and preventive approach to ensure safety of passengers, especially children.

But some parents, who have kids to send to school, have reservations.

Joy Antolihao, a housewife from Canduman, Mandaue City, said she is opposed to the implementation of the new law because motorcycles are easier to maneuver, especially in heavy traffic.

“Dili ko ganahan sa bag-ong balaod ron kay gamit kaayo ang motor. If magmotor man gud mas dali ka kalusot sa traffic. Ang importante lang jud, sakto sa gear ang driver og ang bata,” Antolihao said.

Richard Romeo, an elementary teacher and father of four, empathized with the people whose only means of transportation is a motorcycle, especially those who live far from the schools and workplaces.

“Para sa ako maayo ang tinguha anang balaoda pero mag-unsa man ang mga tawo nga mao ra gyud intawn ang paagi sa pagsakay labi na sa mga lugar layo sa ilang gitrabahoan o eskwelahan? Mamahimo tingali kana kung ang batang sakay kompleto sa panagang sa pagsakay sama sa helmet. Inubanan sa pag-amping sa pag-drive sa usa ka tino ug drug-free nga driver,” he said.

Antolihao and Romeo both send their children, ages 3-8, to school every day using motorcycle.  (FREEMAN)

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