Wednesday, 05 October 2011 12:29
“Do we still have to tell you of your duties? Why is Zamboanga so wild, why are people not following the laws?”
This was how a heated discussion started during a session of Sangguniang Panlungsod last week as District I City Councilor Rodolfo Bayot addressed this question to the concerned government agencies.
Councilors Rodolfo Bayot and Vincent Paul Elago called a dialogue on the implementation and violations of existing traffic laws and regulations in this city such as vehicles running without headlights, signal lights and tail lights and plate numbers with glaring halogen lights and plying the streets emitting blue and white fumes, as well as drivers smoking while driving.
The City Council invited guests from the Land Transportation Office IX, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Zamboanga City Police's Traffic Enforcement Unit, Office of the City Mayor to further discuss the existing issues and complaints about traffic.
“In spite of our efforts, we lack officials. But we still try to maximize our performance. Every month, the public acquires 300 motorcycles for example. How can we accommodate these vehicles if our roads are too crowded? That’s the problem,” said Sr. Insp. Memoracion, chief of the police traffic division.
“If possible you must impound vehicles caught violating traffic laws, besides we have areas to be impounded,” Councilor Noning Biel suggested.
“The ideal ratio of an officer per individual is 1:500, but as of now it turns out to be 1:1, 500, so we shouldn’t blame them if they lack officials,” added Councilor Jimmy Cabato.
On the other hand, Councilor Mel Sadain raised an issue on drag racing occurring in particular areas in the city in the wee hours. The complaints accordingly are coming from the residents living in the affected areas like Tugbungan, Nuñez Extensio, Pasonanca and Manicahan. The loud sounds of motorcycles are very disturbing. Thus, residents cannot sleep well at night.
Memoracion, reacted on the issue by appealing on the councilors to create an ordinance regarding these vehicles with sounds, unauthorized muffler, drag racing and to designate areas to have drag racing.
Elago said he has been receiving several complaints regarding issues of smoke belchers, smoking drivers, reckless driving, overspeeding. He came up with a suggestion to let the people know by publishing the name of the violators in local newspapers. He believes that efforts like that will teach them a lesson, thus people themselves want violators of this law to be apprehended.
In the latter part of the session, Councilor Mel Sadain proposed a resolution to extend the working hours of these traffic enforcers particularly during wee hours when drag racing is rampant.
By Kathleene I. Gonzales
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