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Gov’t personnel violate Edsa busway rule

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Half of the 987 violators caught using the Edsa busway turned out to be government personnel, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Since the opening of the 16-stop busway on the innermost lane of Edsa on June 1, around 30 vehicles a day have been flagged by traffic authorities for using it illegally.

Unfortunately, according to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago, half of them turned out to be government personnel although she did not provide any figures.

“Half of those flagged were our colleagues in the government, driving their private vehicles,” Pialago said on Sunday, adding that others were in official vehicles or on motorcycles.

The violators were supposed to be slapped a fine of P1,000 on top of an additional P150 for disregarding traffic signs.

Lighter fine

But Pialago said they were given some consideration and penalized only for disregarding traffic signs.

Government personnel, especially uniformed ones, should be emulated by the public while on the road, she added.

“We are not singling out our colleagues, but if a private vehicle with government personnel inside was seen on the bus lane, other vehicles would follow suit. This will destroy the very concept of the Edsa busway,” Pialago said.

She reminded them that the Edsa busway was exclusively for city buses and could only be used by government workers in emergency vehicles, including ambulances and “government mobiles with sirens and markings.”

On the other hand, traffic accidents caused by the concrete barriers marking the busway have dropped this month.

According to Pialago, their enforcers recorded only three accidents in the first two weeks of July—a significant decrease compared to last month.

The MMDA recorded a total of 43 vehicles crashing into the concrete barriers in June but said these were all “self-accidents” or caused by driver’s error.

A total of 36,000 concrete barriers will be laid down alongside the busway stretching from Monumento to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange as additional protection for commuters.

Exercise caution

The MMDA acknowledged complaints about the barriers from motorists but only called on them to exercise more caution.

“Motorists won’t crash [into] concrete barriers if they will only stay [in] their proper lanes and not overspeed, which usually happens in the early morning,” Pialago said.

According to her, the MMDA will place additional hazard markers—blinking orange lights—on top of the concrete barriers to make these more visible at night.

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