IATF told to ditch motorbike barrier rule for backriding couples, safety issues raised

/ 08:29 AM July 20, 2020

APPROVED DESIGNS A steel frame with plexiglass or plastic soldered in the center of the motorcycle (right) and a backpack- like contraption to be worn by the driver are the two barrier prototypes to get the approval of authorities. —PHOTOS COURTESY OF NTF COVID-19 CHAIR AND DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN LORENZANA

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on Monday appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to reconsider its requirement on the use of motorcycle barriers for backriding couples.

Revilla issued the call after Joint Task Force COVID Shield chief Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar announced that the government is extending the deadline for the installation of motorcycle barriers from July 19 to July 26.


The government’s task force on the coronavirus disease earlier allowed pillion rides for couples only starting July 10 as long as there are protective barriers installed on the motorcycle.

“Napakarami po sa ating mga kababayan ang mismong nagsasabi na nahihirapan silang magbalanse at mag-maneuver ng kanilang motorsiklo dahil sa divider. Sa hirap po ng buhay ngayon lalo na’t marami sa ating mga kababayan ang walang hanapbuhay at pambili ng divider, napipilitan silang mag-improvise ng sarili nilang barricade,” Revilla said.


(Many riders are saying that they are having a hard time balancing and maneuvering their motorcycle due to the divider. Many of them had to resort to improvised barricades because the pandemic has forced many out of their jobs and have no means to buy a barrier.)

“Mas nalalagay tuloy sa alanganin ang ating mga kababayan lalo na kung yung improvised na divider nila ay hindi matibay ang pagkakakabit, marupok ang materyales, o di kaya’y kulang o sobra sa bigat,” he added.

(The riders are exposed to hazards especially if the barrier is only improvised and if it was not installed properly, the materials are substandard or is either too light or too heavy.)

Revilla, also a motorcycle rider, pointed out that several engineers andexperts are opposing the mandatory installation of dividers in motorcycles “because it will become a question of safety, aerodynamics and maneuverability for riders.”

He suggested that the IATF conduct a “comprehensive consultation” among motorcycle manufacturers and experts to come up with better guidelines that will protect motorcycle riders from obtaining COVID-19 and at the same time preventroad mishaps.

“Sa halos dalawang linggo po mula nang ipatupad ng IATF ang paggamit ng divider sa mga motorsiklo, may ilan nang aksidente ang idinulot nito,” he said.

(In the two weeks that the IATF has required the use of barriers, tseveral accidents have already been reported.).


“Huwag po nating hintaying maging sanhi pa ito ng mas malalang aksidente. Baka imbes na makatulong, baka mas lalo pa itong magdulot ng malaking perwisyo,” Revilla added.

(Let’s not wait for serious accidents to happen. The barriers, instead of being helpful, may instead cause more problems.)

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