MANILA, Philippines — The head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Tuesday he was hoping the designation of motorcycle lanes on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) would help reduce the number of accidents on the highway.
“With the use of the motorcycle lanes in EDSA, we hope to see a dramatic decrease from the 700 accidents we see on the road every year,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino told reporters as he led the kickoff for the motorcycle lanes Tuesday morning at the MMDA headquarters in Makati.
He noted that about 12,000 motorcycles passed through EDSA every day, and said that the motorcycle lanes, also known as “blue lanes” for the strips of paint marking them, would instill discipline among motorcycle drivers and drivers of other vehicles alike.
Implementation of the motorcycle lanes began Tuesday, but the MMDA said the first week of what would be a dry run where violators would not be fined but would be compelled only to attend a 15-minute road safety briefing. They will also be given MMDA stickers to attach to the windshield and gas tank of their motorcycles.
The briefing areas are located on Roxas Boulevard, Orense, White Plains, Timog Avenue and Quezon Avenue.
However, come Monday next week, violators will be fined between P150 and P2,000, depending on the type of violations, which range from failure to wear helmets to drunk driving.
The Metro Manila Council, MMDA’s policy-making body, approved the use of motorcycle lanes on EDSA in January.
Motorcycle lanes have already been designated on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay and Parañaque City.
The fourth lane of EDSA from the right sidewalk have been designated as motorcycle lanes. However, it is non-exclusive, which means other vehicles can use the lanes.
Motorcycle riders can only leave the lane not less than 200 meters before making a turn or heading for a U-turn.