The local government of Quezon City has passed an ordinance that regulates the back-riding of children on motorcycles.
You read it right. Children. Not adults.
City Ordinance SP 2395, series of 2015 states that a child can only ride a motorcycle if:
- he or she is wearing a helmet;
- his or her feet can touch the footrest of the motorcycle; and
- his or her arms can completely go around the motorcycle driver’s waist.
Councilor Melencio “Bobby” Castelo Jr. was the principal author of the ordinance signed by Mayor Herbert Bautista on April 15.
Citing a study by non-government organization Safe Kids Philippines, Castelo said that no less than 35,000 Filipino kids are victims of road accidents every year. Most of these kids encountered accidents while on a motorcycle.
Drivers who violate the ordinance will be slapped with a P1,000 fine on the first offense, a P2,000 fine on the second offense, and a P5,000 fine on the third and succeeding offenses.
This is not like the ordinance passed and currently in effect in Mandaluyong City since last year, the Ordinance 938, where motorcycle backriders are required to be relatives of the driver. It was an ordinance met with much ridicule and protest at first.
In the case of Mandaluyong City’s ordinance, it is meant to curb, if not prevent, cases of motorcycle assassins and similar crimes, called “Riding in Tandem”, blamed for several murder cases in Metro Manila.
Routine inspections of motorcycles and their riders, are also conducted at random by local police to prevent possible motorcycle-borne crimes before they even happen.
Some local divisions in Metro Manila even implement a no-helmet policy only for specific areas, to make identification easier, an ordinance also met with ridicule initially.