Vehicles in ‘minor accidents’ should pull aside or face fines
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Fines of up to P3,000 may soon await motorists who figure in “minor” road accidents and fail to pull their vehicles aside within five minutes.
The Fender Bender Ordinance of 2019, which provides for the penalties, has already passed second reading at the Cebu Provincial Board on Monday, February 10, 2020.
“Adding a penalty would somehow, hopefully, encourage or shall we say pressure both parties to settle amicably. Mao man gyud na ang objective nato,” said Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco who authored the ordinance.
Soco, however, clarified that drivers who could not arrive at an amicable settlement may still seek a formal police investigation after they have pulled aside their vehicles to avoid clogging roads affect the traffic flow.
Under the Fender Bender Ordinance, the drivers involved in the minor road accidents shall take photos and videos of their vehicles within five minutes to document the incident.
In case of colliding vehicles, the drivers should take photos of the two or more colliding vehicles, the positions of the vehicles, the vehicles involved with respect to the highway, the position of the wheels and the skid marks on the highway, the nearest landmark or the nearest intersection line or junction box.
Based on the public hearing conducted last Jan. 28, Soco said the average time for vehicles to be pulled out from the roads after a minor accident ranges from 30 to 45 minutes.
By this time, Soco said, the traffic flow in the area of the accident would already be gravely affected.
Soco said the government agencies as well as the public transport groups who were present during the public hearing “supported the ordinance.”
However, Soco said they have yet to identify who will enforce the ordinance once it will be approved by the body
“It can be invoked by the traffic enforcers themselves… The province has just created the Traffic Management Board which may create a body for the enforcement. We have a lot of options that will be defined already with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR),” Soco told CDN Digital.
Violation of the ordinance means a fine of P1,000 in the first offense, P2,000 in the second offense and P3,000 in the third offense.
The ordinance, however, is not applicable to accidents that involve casualties. /rcg
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