MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) wants a ban on delinquent drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and called for PUV operators to keep such drivers from driving their vehicles.
In a press conference at the MMDA headquarters in Makati City on Monday, MMDA General Manager Arturo “Jojo” Garcia said that after forwarding a list of drivers with an excessive number of violations to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), their next step would be to get such drivers off the roads.
“We want the riding public to be out of danger and prohibiting habitual traffic offenders is one step to avoid road accidents,” Garcia said.
While the MMDA does not have the authority to apprehend or revoke excessive traffic violators, he said that they have asked the LTO to issue a guideline on the apprehension of such drivers.
“Because we are just an enforcement agency, we have to be guided by the LTO on the apprehension of these motorists,” Garcia said.
While waiting for the guidelines, he called on the PUV operators — especially those in Metro Manila — to bar such drivers from going on the road with their vehicles.
“We encourage PUV operators to exercise their authority and bar their errant drivers from holding the steering wheel,” Garcia said.
The MMDA said that on Tuesday, the traffic authority and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board Technical (LTFRB) will sit down with bus operators to submit the names of drivers included in the LTO’s list of excessive violators.
LTFRB Division Chief Joel Bolano supported the strict measures against delinquent drivers and said that suspending a large number of PUV drivers would not necessarily translate to a lesser number of PUVs in Metro Manila.
“If there are 3,500 bus units in Metro Manila, there are more than 7,000 PUV drivers. If there are only 2,000 delinquent bus drivers, there will still be 5,000 left,” Bolano said.
Garcia clarified that while a large chunk of excessive offenders was PUV drivers, they were not being singled out.
He said that the MMDA will also crackdown against private vehicle drivers and owners with more than three violations of the same traffic offense.
LTO Law Enforcement Deputy Director Roberto Valera said that under the law, the revocation and suspension of driver’s license is possible for delinquent drivers.
Aside from the revocation or suspension of license, Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group Traffic Enforcement Unit Chief Col. Emmanuel Tabuena said that drivers involved in road accidents may also face criminal charges for reckless driving, among others.
Last month, the MMDA submitted a list of about 12,000 drivers with multiple apprehensions, with the LTO issuing show-cause orders to about 2,500 — half of which responded to the LTO. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)