Some drivers not open to speed limit proposal

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Friday, February 14, 2014

SOME drivers of public utility vehicles in Cagayan de Oro City disagree with the proposed ordinance that limits the speed of vehicles entering the city to less than 60-kilometer per hour (kph) on two grounds: concern on passengers and profit.

Francisco Orbita, a driver for 30 years who plies the Bugo route, said it would be hard for him to accept the 60-kph speed limit.

“It’s too slow, our passengers will be late in their classes and work,” Orbita said.


Orbita said a speed limit will give them six rounds in a day enough to pay the rent of their passenger units.

He said some drivers rent at P1,200 per day on their passenger units, and the six "round trips" will make it hard for them to pay the rent.

“Gansi nagyud sila ana,” Orbita added, referring to income the Bugo drivers can make if the 60-kph speed limit will be enforced.

However, Orbita said it would be okay if the "people in-charge" will consider the 80-kph speed limit.

He said the proposed speed limit of 20 to 30 kilometers per hour in the city streets is okay because of the traffic.

Bernard Salas, monitoring motorcycle unit personnel of the RTA, said the 60-kph in the city's highways is too fast.

Salas suggested that it would be a lot better for the motorists to set the speed limit to 40- kph.

He said the accidents in Tablon bridge were caused by speeding.

But for the 20-year Gusa driver, Catalino Miyaki said he is totally okay with the speed limits since their route is closer to the city compared to Bugo drivers.

Miyaki, while listening to the points raised by Orbita, said he understood the concerns of Bugo drivers.

Orbita added the speed limits if imposed will surely affect their livelihood.

Ricardo Valerio, enforcement division chief of the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA), said the proposed speed limit for the city proper is favorable.

Valerio said speeding is rampant in the city and the unlawful overtaking of vehicles is one of the major causes of fatal vehicular accidents.

Valerio said speeding often happens with Bugo lines that are headed to the city. But in the city streets, he said speeding is impossible because the traffic is congested.

Consult drivers

Meanwhile, Ringo Lago, secretary-general of Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao (Starex-Piston), said the group will still study the proposed ordinance.

Lago said that next week, they will conduct an assembly to seek the opinion of other drivers in the city.

He said it is important to consult the drivers on new traffic schemes because it could affect their livelihood.

Valerio said his office does not have the capacity to enforce the speed limits in the city and apprehend the violators.

He said it would be impossible to apply speed limits until the “gadgets” needed to identify that the drivers are going over the speed limits are available.

Valerio referred to speed gun radars that are often used to detect the speed of moving vehicles.

“Lisud pud kung mag tumo-tumo ta,” Valerio said, pointing out the problem of enforcing speed limits without speed gun radars.

He added that speed gun radars hold the evidence that a driver is traveling beyond the speed limits.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 14, 2014.

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