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Proposed jail term for unlicensed drivers passed on second reading

The proposed ordinance criminalizing driving without a license was approved on second reading on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Councilor Conrado Baluran, the committee chairperson on transportation and communication, has been pushing for the ordinance to impose a criminal charge on motorists who cannot show any valid driver’s license to traffic enforcers.

“In this way, we can discipline motorists. It is for their sake also,” he said.
He said the number of violators for driving without license reached almost 10,000 from September 2017 up to the present. He also said that driving without license ranked ninth in 46 to 49 driving violations listed in the Traffic Code.

“I am really pushing for this ordinance to stress how important license is to drivers. Having no license means no proper training and seminar has been acquired by the driver, therefore, these drivers are susceptible to accidents,” he said.

The ordinance states that no person shall drive a motor vehicle on the city road or highway unless a valid driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) can be presented to the traffic enforcers.

Tourists or transients with a valid international driver’s license and valid passport or visa may be permitted to operate a vehicle in the country as long as documents are not expired.

As for the penalty, the offender will be fined P1,000 or imprisonment of 10 days or both at the discretion of the court. For the second offense, they will pay P3,000 or imprisonment of 15 days or both, at the discretion of the court.

For the third offense, the violator will pay P5,000 or imprisonment of 30 days or both, at the discretion of the court.
Upon apprehension, the violator shall be given a period of five working days to present a license at the City Prosecutor’s Office. Failure of the apprehended party to do so shall be deemed as a waiver of the right to protest.

The City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) is tasked to issue a citation ticket to be presented at the court. The LTO, meanwhile, will have its own rules as it is covered by policies from its central office.

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