MMDA expects fewer EDSA busway violators due to stiffer fines

CRACKDOWN. Motorists are caught illegally driving through the EDSA bus lane in Mandaluyong City and are issued traffic violation tickets by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority agents on Monday (Nov. 13, 2023), the start of the imposition of higher fines for violators. Task Force Special Operations chief Bong Nebrija on Tuesday (Nov. 14) said apprehensions are expected to lessen by week's end as more motorists become aware of the increased penalties. PHOTO: Joey Razon/Philippine News Agency
MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) sees a drop in apprehensions by the end of this week as it continues intensified operations along the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) busway.
In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing on Tuesday, MMDA Task Force Special Operations chief Bong Nebrija said 197 motorists were apprehended in different spots in the afternoon.
"I think this is a good number right now. It's lower than the morning apprehensions yesterday (Monday). So, I hope the trend will continue to go down eventually," Nebrija said.
On Monday, he said 409 apprehensions were made despite the first day of increased penalties.
"We were really hoping that the higher penalties will deter the violators. We were surprised because we apprehended 333 by Monday morning alone, which was really high," he said.
He noted that many of those apprehended were not yet aware of the increased penalties, although they know that they are not allowed in the EDSA busway.
He said there is usually an adjustment period of two to three days during the implementation of a new policy – for both enforcers and motorists.
"I think, come Thursday or Friday and the next weeks ahead, it will go down and we'll average fewer apprehensions on the bus lane," he said.
Following repeated escape attempts of apprehended motorists, he said those who ran away were usually caught later on and faced heavier penalties.
"Starting Monday, yesterday, no one has been able to escape us. And it's sad that this still happens because we also increased the penalty for those who run away from apprehension," he said.
He said three motorcycle riders attempted to escape on Monday, one of which was a motorcycle taxi.
Instead of paying P5,000 for a first offense, he said those caught after running away would instead be penalized as a third-time offender, which carry a P20,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.
"Now [your license is] suspended for one year and your livelihood is affected, aside from the damage from the P20,000 fine," he said.
He noted that the passenger of the motorcycle taxi rider who attempted to escape was heard screaming for the rider to stop.
"When we caught the rider, he was very sorry for what he did but we had no choice but to implement the law," he said.
On Monday, the MMDA and the Inter-agency Council for Traffic began the implementation of MMDA Regulation No. 23-002 that specified new penalties for violations of the EDSA busway.
Instead of a P1,000 fine per apprehension, those caught will now pay P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for a second offense plus one-month license suspension, P20,000 for a third offense plus one-year license suspension, and P30,000 for a fourth offense and a letter to the Land Transportation Organization recommending a permanent revocation of the driver's license. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2023-Nov-16 07.00 +0800