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Nation

Quezon City to lower fines for ‘no bike helmet’ policy

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Quezon City to lower fines for âno bike helmetâ policy
From P1,000, P3,000 and P5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively, Belmonte said she recommended lowering the fines to to P300, P500 and P1,000.
MIchael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has asked the city council to lower the penalties for violators of the soon-to-be implemented mandatory bike helmet ordinance in the city.

From P1,000, P3,000 and P5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively, Belmonte said she recommended lowering the fines to to P300, P500 and P1,000.

She said the scheduled implementation of the policy will push through on Oct. 15 since there is ample time for the city council to amend the fines in the next two weeks.

“The implementation is still scheduled for Oct. 15 as planned, to give ample time for us to disseminate the ordinance, to educate the cyclists on safety protocols, enable cyclists enough time to comply and to give us time to distribute free helmets to those who cannot afford to buy helmets,” she said in a text message on Friday.

“Cycling is an alternative form of mobility that we encourage and therefore we cannot suspend implementation of what I believe is an important basic safety measure,” she added.

Also on Friday, members of the city government’s department of public order and safety distributed 2,000 helmets to bikers, prioritizing senior citizens and other underprivileged travellers.

While the wearing of helmets when biking is already mandatory under the Road Safety Ordinance, the city council said there is a need for another policy that would further encourage the use of helmets.

Belmonte recently initiated the implementation of the Bike Lane Project, a short-term initiative that aims to provide a safe place for people who have shifted to biking as an alternative means of transportation amid the community quarantine.

The first phase of the initiative includes the improvement and repair of existing bike lanes and placement of temporary and semi-permanent traffic separation devices.

New bike lane routes have also been identified to improve connectivity, with route signages and bike parking areas to be included in the planned network.

As part of her long-term program, Belmonte said the city government plans to put up permanent bike lanes that will be integrated with the planned bus system routes and pedestrian network.

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