Friday, 03 August 2012 14:13
Land Transportation Office-9 (LTO-9) Regional Director Atty. Aminola Abaton yesterday disclosed his office will implement the use of full-faced helmets by motorists in Region 9 starting January next year not despite the opposition being raised by businessmen and city officials against the use of the covered helmets in the streets of Zamboanga City.
Abaton said Republic Act No. 14005 is a national law which calls for the use of the full-faced helmets by motorcycle drivers and back riders as it is the criterion or standard set by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“The effectivity of the law was supposed to be this month of July but we have deferred the implementation until December this year because we have agreed to make an aggressive public dissemination using all forms of media so that all the motorists will be informed of the law. We will also coordinate with DTI as to the required standard of the full faced helmet that is compliant to the law,” Abaton emphasized.
Last month, the City Council tried to pass a resolution addressed to the LTO and DTI calling these offices to let the motorists in this city use the half-faced helmets following the alarming increase of shooting incidents involving gunmen using covered helmets.
However, the edict was laid down on the table when LTO and DTI officials reserved their rights not to go along with the resolution because they will contradict the national law.
Abaton stressed the need for motorcycle riders to first determine the allowable helmets that is compliant to the DTI standards before buying.
“Our office is only the implementor of the national law and the use of full-faced helmets is mandatory. But before we implement it there should be series of consultations with the concerned stakeholders. I am not surprised if we will be invited again by the City Council to shed light on the use of the covered helmets which the august body and other stakeholders are really against because of the peace and order problem and also due to the high cost of buying the full-faced helmets. It is well taken and the complaint is valid but we have no other recourse but to follow the law if our office will call for the implementation,” Abaton said.
He said there is also a proposal to print the plate numbers of motorcycles at the back of the helmets but this is still being studied.
Abaton emphasized that the use of covered helmets is for the protection of the user especially during accidents.
Based on studies, the use of covered helmets have saved the lives of many motorists during accidents, Abaton said.
“This is still being explored if it is feasible or not. There is no such law that mandates the printing of the plate numbers at the back of the helmets but we will have to study if this is good or not,” Abaton said.
By Nonong Santiago
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