Have you ever encountered a motorcycle on the street adorned with blinking lights and a loud siren? In the Philippines, motorcycle riders who outfit their motorcycles with illegal sirens and blinkers are a rather common sight. In turn, they use these illegal modifications to muscle their way through traffic, either by posing as emergency vehicles or police officers.
Emergency vehicles in the Philippines are usually easy to identify, and those which are posing as such, tend to stick out like sore thumbs. For starters, most police-issued motorcycles are either Kawasaki Versys 650 and 1000, or Ninja 650 units, finished in all white, and bear unit number and division markings. Other police districts make use of CFMoto 650 MT units, finished in the same white color scheme with identifying marks. That being said, it has always been illegal for private cars and motorcycles to bear sirens and police-style blinkers. However, the enforcement of this regulation has been all too often met with a blind eye.
That said, a recent operation held by the Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) could indicate that this is all about to change. In a bid to crack down on vehicles donning these illegal accessories, the PNP-HPG carried out an operation along Katipunan Avenue, one of Quezon City’s busiest thoroughfares. During the operation, vehicles caught sporting illegal sirens and blinkers were apprehended, and these accessories were removed and confiscated on site. Additionally, the drivers of these vehicles were ticketed for their violations.
The operation, although described as a one-time-big-time crackdown, could be indicative of the PNP-HPG’s renewed initiative towards enforcing the rules of the road. That said, it’s pretty likely that we will soon see more operations geared towards the apprehension of other offenses which, until recently, have been ignored by authorities.