Vico Sotto says motorcycle barriers dangerous; lauds riders for making safer design
MANILA, Philippines — Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto agrees with most netizens and motorcycling enthusiasts that placing a barrier between the rider and a passenger is aerodynamically dangerous.
But as it is required to supposedly prevent coronavirus transmissions, motorcycle riders need to have such additional equipment for them to be allowed to make trips — basically, the reason he lauded a transport network vehicle service (TNVS) app for coming up with a safer barrier design.
“Alam kong kontrobersyal ang motorcycle barrier / backpack shield na to. Sa totoo lang, delikado siya… Pero sa ngayon wala tayong choice kung gusto nating umangkas, kailangan daw to,” Sotto said in a post on his Facebook account on Thursday.
(I know that the motorcycle barriers are a controversial issue. It is actually dangerous, but as of now we have no choice because if we want to ride motorcycles, we need this.)
“Good job to Angkas dahil gumawa sila ng disenyo na mas ligtas, mas aerodynamic. They will provide FREE RIDES for our HEALTH WORKERS. Focus nila yung mga health worker na pagod at pauwi na, galing duty sa mga ospital natin,” he added.
(Good job for Angkas because they made a design that would be safer, and would adhere to motorcycle’s aerodynamics. They will provide free rides for our health workers, focusing on those who are weary and who may need to go home after their duties.)
Alam kong kontrobersyal ang motorcycle barrier / backpack shield na to. Sa totoo lang, delikado siya… Pero sa ngayon…
A debate has been raging on about whether riders should place barriers as it supposedly compromises safety as the barrier acts as an actual physical hindrance to the flow of wind, which some riders say may throw off passengers at higher speeds.
Modern cars and motorcycles are now designed in a uniform, slanted manner — as much as possible, in a smooth shape from a protruding back portion to a sharper stance upfront to minimize air drag or a moving object’s resistance to wind flow.
However, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año insists that the barrier is important to avoid COVID-19 transmissions between the passenger and the rider. He also told riders that some inconvenience may be better than contracting the dreaded disease.
“Pag-aralan niyo muna bago kayo magcomment at hintayin natin na ma-infect ka ng COVID saka ka magcomment,” Año said last August 7.
(Assess the issue before making comments, and wait until you get infected with COVID before you comment.)
“Magbabago ang perspective mo sa buhay kung magkasakit ka o isang member ng pamilya mo naghahanap ng ICU (intensive care unit), naghahanap ng medical ventilator, yan saka sabihin natin na mali pala ang paggamit ng barrier shield,” he added.
(Your perspective will change if you get sick or if a family members gets sick and you start looking for an ICU bed, mechanical ventilator.)
Netizens who had no recourse but to follow the law have poked fun at the barrier, with comic strips being created to show the barrier doubling as wings for a motorcycle-jet plane crossover.
On the other hand, Angkas itself — which initiated the barrier design Sotto was talking about — edited a photo of their riders appearing like rocketeers below Kirov warships of EA Sports’ war simulator game Red Alert 2. [ac]
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