We Filipinos are consummate survivors and our resilience knows no bounds. The ultimate test of this used to be the many strong typhoons that frequently battered our country, but nowadays, what makes us modern-day heroes is how we manage to sit through the increasingly horrid traffic situation with our sanity intact (for the most part). We can even find humor in the situation. Just look at these inspired Manila traffic memes.
Traffic policies might be out of our hands, but we can be part of the solution by being disciplined motorists and following the rules of the road. Know which violations you should avoid committing not only because you’ll be a danger to other motorists, but also because the penalties imposed by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) can wipe out your budget in a snap.
Driving without a license
MMDA: Php750/LTO: Php1,500
If you have more than one car, or if you’re one of those people who change bags, card holders or wallets from time to time, always check if you have your driver’s license with you. Don’t be overconfident and think you won’t be stopped at a checkpoint or apprehended by a traffic enforcer. Otherwise, prepare to shell out P1,500 in fines.
Driving with suspended, revoked, improper or fake license
LTO: Php1,000– suspended or revoked; Php2,000- fake
Though it can be a pain to schedule a driver’s license renewal and then endure hours in a queue, don’t put off having your license renewed. Being caught with a suspended, revoked or improper license and driving with a fake license can cost you:
Driving under the influence
MMDA: Php2,000/LTO: Php5,000-Php10,000
Don’t put yourself and others’ lives on the line. Driving while intoxicated on alcohol or, worse, drugs, is one of the worst things a motorist can do on the road because it’s highly dangerous and easily avoidable. These violations can get you fined:
Allowing an unlicensed person to drive
MMDA: Php750/LTO: Php1,000
Even though your younger sibling or friend has learned how to drive, if they don’t possess a license yet, don’t let them drive — no matter how confident you are in their skills! This is another one of those violations that can make your vehicle a hurtling danger on the road.
Tampered/marked plates or stickers
MMDA: Php300/LTO: Php2,000
Okay, maybe you think your windshield would look so much better without all those LTO stickers on it. And you believe your plate would look prettier with stickers and engravings on it. Stop right there — tampering with those are actually violations that can cost you P2,000 in fines. Find other ways to express yourself — keep your hands off your car’s plates and stickers.
Unauthorized use of bell, siren or exhaust whistle
MMDA: Php600/LTO: Php15.000
The wang-wang mentality is so passé. You may be a bigshot in the boardroom or in government, but on the road, we are all equal. A whopping P15,000 in fines is in store for you if you still choose to ignore this and use your loud and annoying sirens to pester people into making way for you.
MMDA: Php500-Php1,000/LTO: Php1,000-Php5,000
Whether you’re having problems or caught in an emergency situation, there is no excuse for reckless driving. Don’t underestimate how seriously your car can damage property or life if used irresponsibly and without thought for others’ safety.
MMDA: Php200/LTO: Php1,000-Php5,000
Global warming is a real phenomenon, and smoke from our vehicles is one of the biggest offenders. Not to mention the worsening health of city dwellers due to the air pollution caused by cars. Smoke belching is punishable by fines from P1,000 up to P5,000.
Operating a right-hand drive vehicle
This is really out there, but in case you’re one of those rich kids thinking of buying a cool muscle car overseas, make sure it’s not a right-hand drive vehicle! One of the violations with the heaviest fines, operating a right-hand drive vehicle can cost you a whopping P50,000 in fines.
Failure to install seatbelt
MMDA: Php250.00-Php1,000.00/LTO: Php1,000
I’m sure you’ve heard of this a thousand times before, but it’s true: seatbelts have saved countless lives. So don’t scoff at that thin strip of cloth and call it an unnecessarily uncomfortable prison or restraint device — it’s one of, if not the, most important components of your car. Wear it at all times. The P1,000 fine is teensy compared to possible accidents or loss of life because you neglected to wear your seatbelt.
Driving against traffic
MMDA: Php2,000 and revocation of license
This is a kind of reckless or inattentive driving that might have been borne out of impatience or confusion but is still one of those totally avoidable violations. Head-on collisions are usually caused by people driving in the wrong direction, opposite the flow of traffic. No matter how late you are to a very important meeting, resist the urge to drive against traffic. And pay attention to street signs! If you find that they’re not adequate, report the situation to the local government, LTO or MMDA.
Again, patience on the road is key. Stop channeling your inner Michael Schumacher; unless you are a professional race car driver, driving at top speed is a definite no-no. No matter how spacious the road is or how amazing your reflexes are at hitting the brakes, other factors such as visibility and weather conditions can quickly increase the odds of accidents happening.
Violations with Updated Fines:
The MMDA has recently warned the public for stricter implementation of traffic regulations including the increase in fines for the following violations:
Make sure to check out MMDA’s nifty list of “10 Things That Drivers Should Know,” which aims to help motorists know their way around traffic enforcers and violations. Know when traffic enforcers can confiscate your driver’s license. Hint: in most situations, they’re not allowed to. Did you know that MMDA enforcers are not allowed to group together while apprehending someone? Also, though “swerving” is a popular citation, it’s not a traffic violation per se, but it can constitute a reckless driving offense if done in a careless manner (i.e., not using signals). Check the full list for more information.
Curious if one of MMDA’s CCTVs caught you breaking a rule? Check out their website, MayHuliBa.com. Simply enter your plate number and it’ll let you know if you have violations under your name. Otherwise, it will spew out witty hugot lines that will rival those of your perpetually heartbroken friend.
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