The implementation of traffic rules and regulations definitely varies country to country. Now, in the Philippines, the sight of motorists—both motorcycle and car drivers—outright ignoring traffic laws is an all too common sight. That being said, there are instances, however, wherein the erring motorist does something so out of the ordinary, that it makes its way to the national headlines.
Such is the case with this dude who was caught riding his motorcycle on the sidewalk. Apprehended by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Traffic Chief, Bong Nebrija, this guy was caught riding on the sidewalk of EDSA, one of the country's busiest thoroughfares. A story published by MotoPinas gives a detailed explanation of what could be in store for this offender. Upon being flagged down, it was clear that riding on the sidewalk, tantamount to reckless driving, wasn't this guy's only violation. On the face of it, the dude wasn't even wearing a helmet, and was wearing flip-flops. Bingo! Three violations all at once.
Here's where things get pretty interesting. When asked for his driver's license and the registration documents of his steed, the guy had nothing to show. As a result, the folks at the MMDA had no choice but to call in the flatbed and have his motorcycle impounded. Quite a rough day, wouldn't you say? So, what exactly is going to happen to our sidewalk adventurer? Well, as you can probably predict, he's going to be slapped with quite a hefty fine. Here's a breakdown of what he could possibly be fined with.
For starters, riding on the sidewalk can be considered as reckless driving, which carries a PHP2,000, or $40 USD fine. On top of that, helmets are mandated in the entire country, violation of the helmet law will set you back PHP1,500, or $30 USD. Riding in flip-flops, categorized as unsafe riding apparel, is met with a PHP500 fine—tantamount to $10 USD. Now to the nitty gritty, riding a motorcycle without possessing the required registration documents will earn you a ticket worth PHP1,000—that's $20 USD for you folks Stateside.
Additionally, since his bike was impounded, he will likely need to pay a PHP2,000 impound fee, that's yet another $50 USD to his total fine. Oh yeah, he didn't have a driver's license, right? How does PHP3,000 ($60 USD) sound? Lastly, the heftiest fine of them all would be operating an unregistered motor vehicle on public roads. This offense will set you back a whopping PHP10,000, or around $200 USD. With all the traffic infractions this guy has committed, he's looking at a total fine of well over PHP 20,000, or the equivalent of around $500. That's more than the average monthly income of a working-class Filipino citizen. Ouch.
So there you go, guys and gals. If you're reading this from the Philippines, or plan to head over there for a motorcycle tour or vacation in the not-too-distant future, hopefully, then it might be best to acquaint yourselves with the local traffic rules and regulations to avoid having your day ruined by the long arm of the law.