Saturday, January 19, 2008

Senator Revilla Takes Councilor Zozobrado's Local Ordinance To The Senate

The late councilor Jesus Zozobrado may be smiling in his grave today knowing that someone in the Senate is making sure that an ordinance he laid down in the local level will be followed nationwide.

Zozobrado authored an ordinance requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Aside from banning children below 7 years old from riding motorcycles, the ordinance also mandated that only two people be allowed to ride motorcycles to avoid accidents.

Barely two years after the implementation of the local ordinance, here comes Senator Bong Revilla with Senate Bill 1863 requiring the wearing of standard helmets for all motorcycle drivers and the back rider for all types of trips.

While this policy is already incorporated in the Land Transportation Office rules, it has gained much popularity when Zozobrado took the challenge of penalizing the local habal-habals and other motorcycles that did not follow the ordinance. Some of his peers believed it was political suicide but knowing the late councilor who never backed away from a challenge, it was a small price to pay for the safety of the Dabawenyos.

At least 45% of the total vehicles registered in the country comprise of motorcycles. Latest figures show there are 3.5 million registered motorcycles throughout the country but the number is expected to go up. It is alarming to note that 24% of the 11,425 accidents in 2005 and 35% of the total traffic accidents during the first two months of 2006 involved motorcycles.

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