The helmet law is in effect anew in Tagbilaran City with its implementation harmonized with the local ordinance prohibiting any material that totally covers the motorcycle rider’s face.
City chief of police, Supt. Patricio Degay Jr., announced that the strict implementation of the helmet law has resumed starting March 9.
Degay reminded the motorcycle riders to make sure their helmets have the Import Commodity Clearance(ICC) stickers or PS marks on it.
Those who are caught not wearing any helmet- -both the driver and the backrider- -will be fined.
The city chief of police also clarified that in consonance with a local ordinance, motorcycle riders are prohibited from using a mask or any material that would cover the face, or tinted helmets if these are full-face.
Republic Act 10054 or the “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009” took effect in 2010, but its implementation met opposition from the public, especially on the issue about the increase in the prices of helmets and proliferation of counterfeit ICC stickers.
Section 3 of RA 10054 provides for the “Mandatory Use of Motorcycle Helmets” where “all motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, shall at all times wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway” and that “standard protective motorcycle helmets are appropriate types of helmets for motorcycle riders that comply with the specifications issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)”.
Section 5 of the law requires every seller and/or dealer to make a new motorcycle helmet available every time a new motorcycle unit is purchased “and which the purchaser may buy at his option”.
Section 7 of the law prescribes the penalties.
It states that “(a) Any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet in violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of P1,500.00 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; P5,000 for the third offense; and P10,000 plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses”.
The law also states that “any seller and/or dealer who violates Section 5 of this Act shall be punished with a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P20,000”.
In 2014, the 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod passed an ordinance prohibiting motorists from wearing any material that conceals their identity such as bonnets, t-shirts, cloths and even full-face helmets and other helmets that have darkly tinted visors while in public places of Tagbilaran.
The ordinance allows the city police team and the city traffic aides to flag down any motorists wearing any material that conceals the identity.
Under the ordinance, violators will be required to present proper identification documents.
The City Traffic Management Office and the City Police Station have been tasked to serve as the lead agencies in the effective implementation of the ordinance and shall maintain a database for reference and monitoring purposes.
Among the prohibited acts are wearing of bonnet that covers the face, wearing of hood of a garment that covers a considerable portion of an individual’s face, wearing of full-face helmets or helmets with tinted visors that conceals the identity of the motorists, or wearing of cloth or any other material around the face or wrapping the entire head with a cloth.
Former city councilor Jeremias Pabe introduced the measure in response to the number of shooting incidents, robberies and other crimes involving riding in tandem wearing cloth or full-face helmets.
Such killings where the perpetrators were wearing dark-tinted full-face helmets or bonnets hampered police investigations and left several incidents unsolved for failure of witnesses to identify the assailants.
Just last month, City Councilor Agustinus Gonzaga moved for amendment of the almost four-year-old city ordinance prohibiting full-face helmet and other materials that would cover the face of motorcycle rider.
Gonzaga wants the ordinance amended, pointing out that there had been more deaths from motorcycle accidents than the number of killings perpetrated by riding in tandem wearing masks or helmets.
Gonzaga said it would be better to strictly implement the national law that requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets to avoid deaths and head injuries from road accidents.