By Alex Romeo R. Fernandez/One Luzon E-News Magazine)
DAGUPAN CITY – A federation of jeepney drivers in this city is seeking for an amendment to the Revised Comprehensive and Mandatory Traffic Code so that drivers can easily pay for penalties in case of violation.
Benny Aquino, Alliance of United Transport Organizations Province-wide (AutoPro) President for Pangasinan, said during the regular session of the sangguniang panlungsod on Monday that jeepney drivers are faced with paying high penalties due to increasing fines for successive violations.
The traffic code, or Ordinance No. 1748-2002, states that the penalties for loading and unloading in prohibited areas are P100 for the first offense, P300 for the second offense, P500 for the third offense, and for the fourth offense P500 and revocation of license.
Present violation will be counted relative to the previous one, regardless of the duration taken between the offenses.
The group had sought to amend the penalty clause by requesting the city council to pass an ordinance so that a violation may only be counted within 30 days. Any violation done after that period should be considered as first offense.
The city council has approved such ordinances in 2008 and in 2009 but only took effect within those years.
Aquino hoped that this time, the amendment will be permanent.
Public Order and Safety Office Chief Robert Erfe-Mejia said that among the most common traffic violations committed in the city are loading and unloading of passengers in prohibited areas, such as in the middle of the road, on pedestrian lanes, intersections and approach of bridge.
The city engineer’s office had proposed the construction of 24 loading and unloading sheds along the central business district but only about six have been installed, prompting the drivers to load and unload in prohibited areas.#