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Council mulls law for motorcycle riders to wear fluorescent gear

A city councilor wants motorcycle users, including their passengers, to wear reflectorized vests while traveling in the city’s roads to avoid road mishaps especially during nighttime.

In his privilege speech during the city council session yesterday, Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado III said that a number of road crashes involve motorcycles.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that up to 1.25 million deaths caused by road crashes every year. WHO also reported that more than 10,000 Filipinos perished annually due to road crashes. Road crashes are the main cause of death globally, usually among people between ages 15-19 years,” said Zozobrado, a lawyer who formerly acted as the regional director of the Land Transportation Office in Davao before entering politics.

“While we do not have the exact data in Davao City, we are more or less in the same boat. The city also has its share of road crashes, most of them involving motorcycles,” he added.

According to Zozobrado, road mishaps continue to happen, despite requiring drivers to undergo motorcycle-driving training for their own safety, and for the safety of other motorists.

Motorcycles have smaller footprints and are easy to manipulate amid the throng of large vehicles and trucks, however riding these two-wheeler vehicle is still a tough task.

“Motorcycle drivers who insert their vehicles in between slow-moving vehicles is a common occurrence, even if it is prohibited by law. They seem to have developed the skill of passing through where four-wheeled vehicle drivers least expect them to be. This makes them road hazards, especially at night time, when visibility is at its lowest and most difficult,” Zozobrado said.

The reflectorized vests will provide an additional blanket of security for motorcycle drivers as this will allow the other motorists to see them even in the darkest night.

“We have to take steps to make (motorcycle riding) safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience for all road users,” Zozobrado said, adding that “motorcycle riders need to be visible if they want to be safe on the road and the best way to do that is to pass an ordinance that will make the wearing of fluorescent or high-visibility clothing part of their gear.”

Recently, the city government strictly implemented the mandatory use of motorcycle helmets.

Mayor Sara Duterte even ordered that no financial assistance should be given to motorcycle drivers not wearing helmets who will figure in a road crash.

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