NEWS: LTO XI convoy swoops down Tagum, apprehends 180 vehicles

Oct 3

A 20-man operations team in a convoy of four Land Transportation Office (LTO) white pickup vehicles and motorcycle-riding deputized LTO agents wearing black sweat shirts swooped down to Tagum City Thursday  in surprise checkpoint resulting to apprehensions and citations of erring drivers of mostly single motorcycles violating the new helmet national policy.
LTO XI transportation regulation officer Melencio Diaz Jr, in an interview said that starting towards noon Thursday until past 1:00 P.M. his team apprehended and cited 180 erring drivers of motorcycle and four-wheel vehicles for various offenses to LTO laws.
In subsequent check at LTO Tagum City office at Mankilam, offenses of drivers ranged from having no helmet, no shoes, no side mirror, no license, expired license and others.
Noel Itil, an LTO deputized agent, who went with the convoy, said that they came from LTO XI and some participating agents were Davao City government employees detailed to LTO XI regional office.
He said that they were just carrying out provisions of law, saying “trabaho lang bisag gamay ug sweldo” (Just in line with my work though receiving meager salary).
He said that their special operations team have been going to various places throughout the region to implement the new LTO policy on motocycles.
After booking and endorsing the TOP citations of the erring drivers to LTO Tagum City office, he said they would continue their operations and he did not know their next destination.
A convoy of LTO vehicles and motorcycles were sighted passing the Mankilam Capitol past 1:00 P.M. Thursday and going to the LTO-Tagum office.
Sighted were white LTO pickups with number 02 with plate number SHS-255, number 08 with plate number SHS-201, number 04 with plate number SHS-202 and number 03 with still to be identified plate number.
One driver identified as Ben Casan, resident of Asuncion town, said that for not wearing helmet he paid his fine Thursday to LTO Tagum Office amounting to P1,577.63 inclusive of other charges.
Under the LTO AO No. AHS-2008-015 which prescribes the new rules for the use and operation of motorcycles on highways, popularly dubbed as helmet policy, the violation of not wearing a prescribed helmet carries a fine of P1,500 compared to the P150 fine imposed  in the city’s helmet ordinance.
The new LTO policy also requires single motordrivers to wear shoes, have only one backrider, no cargo unless on standard saddle bag or luggage carrier, not to have defective accessories such as headlight, tail light, signal light, brake light, side mirror and horn, and not to modify any part of the original designs of a motorcycle or scooter without approval of the LTO. Fines on these range from P500 to P2,000.
Several city councilors earlier slammed the new LTO policy as anti-poor, exorbitant, improper and inapplicable. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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