Cebu PB asks IATF to revisit need for ‘unsafe, impractical’ motorcycle barriers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Citing experts’ insights on motorcycle barriers being unsafe, the Cebu Provincial Board has joined the appeals for the national Interagency Task Force (IATF) to reconsider the requirement for allowing backriding among couples.
In a resolution adopted on Monday, July 27, 2020, the Provincial Board said while the intention of requiring motorcycle barriers is to promote health protocols, the measure may do more harm than good if implemented.
“Several negative write-ups and opinions by engineers and experts as to the efficacy and safety of the installation have emerged. They have questioned the mandatory installation of these prototypes as being violative of the principles of aerodynamics and maneuverability for motorcycle riders,” the resolution reads.
“In fact, they have cited that it may pose greater risks to road mishaps and accidents as the installation of barriers in these motorcycles will counter the basic and fundamental concepts of physics and the different principles of science in which a motorcycle’s physical makeup are principally based on,” it added.
The resolution, authored by 6th district Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco, said that while there were no consultation and test runs made, there is no assurance of the efficacy of the barriers as well as there is no proof that its use is safe.
“Moreover, it may result to greater injury in case of accidents since the device is made of sharp and rigid materials,” the resolution said citing accounts of actual two-wheel riders.
Considering that pillion riding is only permitted among couples living in the same residence, the PB also echoed the calls for the IATF to revisit the significance of the barrier when “these individuals are principally sharing bed and board.”
The PB said that while it sympathizes with the IATF in recognizing the need to impose a “certain degree of restriction” to motorcycle riders in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, “the solution must be practical, affordable, and effective.”
“In fact, it is suggested that it may be more functional and sensible if the pillion-rider/backrider simply wears a full-faced, front-covered helmet, with overalls or jackets and gloves,” the resolution reads.
“The observance of basic health protocols like wearing of masks, frequent washing of hands, or use of disinfectants must likewise be maintained. A structured physical barrier is not necessary,” it added.
Citing statistics in the province where one of every 23 Cebuanos owns a motorcycle, the PB said that the economical vehicle has become part of the lives of the Cebuanos and the Filipinos, especially those living in the uplands with less to no accessibility of other means of public transport.
Aside from concerns on safety and efficacy, the PB also pointed out that acquiring either the Bohol prototype or Angkas prototype barriers are costly and impractical considering the wide economic struggle at present, especially among those from the low-income earners and those who may still be paying for the amortization of their units.
“It is even worse for informal workers who were displaced due to COVID-19. How can they afford to comply with this directive when they are out of livelihood for more or less four (4) straight months?” Soco raised in his resolution. / dcb
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