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Joint Order (F)Laws Part 2

ARE WE THERE YET - Back Seat Driver (The Freeman) - July 4, 2016 - 12:00am

Over a month ago, I started writing about the screw job that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) did on the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01.  From mismatching fines to redefining the violations a motorist could commit, the whole disaster makes you wonder if the transport office really had something to do with the drafting of the ordinance, or did they just affix their John Hancock on the final document without reviewing it; something they practice on a regular basis.  Without further ado, let us continue dissecting the disaster that is the JAO.

In the JAO, failure to wear the prescribed seatbelt would net you an initial fine of one thousand pesos.  If you violate that law for the second time, it doubles to two thousand pesos.  For the third and all other succeeding times a motorist is still too daft to figure out that driving a motor vehicle without buckling up is a violation, he would be slapped with a hefty fine of five thousand pesos plus a week long license suspension which starts ticking once the fine has been paid.  The transport office, however, deems the fine too high, and the effort to recall the number of times a person has violated the said traffic law too tedious, so they decided on a fixed rate of two hundred and fifty pesos.  And no, they won’t suspend your license either.  Too lazy to remember when the one week suspension started.

Now, in the article prior to this one, I wrote about how Diaper City suspends traffic rules after 10:00 p.m.  We are all aware that local government units (LGUs) have the right to amend regulations as they see fit; even if it has disastrous consequences.  Take for instance the transport office located in the province of international love, Pampanga.  They have their own take on the JAO’s regulation regarding motor vehicles operating without or with defective, improper, unauthorized accessories, devise, equipment and parts.  In that jurisdiction of that specific transport office, if you have no early warning device (EWD) or spare tire, you will be assessed a hefty five thousand peso fine only if you are driving a vehicle with more than four tires.  Basically, only big trucks, trailers and other heavy equipment are required to have a spare tire or EWD.  Everyone else who suffers a vehicular breakdown can just risk the safety of all other motorists by not having EWD’s on hand to warn motorists of a stalled vehicle.  Good job, people!

Here’s something that may or may not necessarily be related.  In the JAO, a person driving a motor vehicle used in the commission of a crime convicted by a regular court of competent jurisdiction will, aside from whatever the courts decide, be fined a hefty ten thousand pesos and have his driver’s license revoked permanently.  In the land transport’s list of fines and penalties, three thousand pesos is assessed on, and I quote, “the driver of a crime using a motor vehicle.” 

Yes, the driver of a crime using a motor vehicle.  As of this writing, I am still trying to figure that out.  Between now and my next article, please feel free to help me figure that out.

backseatdriver_ph@yahoo.com.

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