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Finally, MMDA stops bus driver with 99 violations

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 10:04 PM January 31, 2013

Before he could be issued a ticket for his 100th traffic violation, this bus driver was told to keep off the road on the first day of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Bus Management and Dispatch System (BMDS).

MMDA Assistant General Manager Emerson Carlos said the man, one of several drivers grounded on Thursday, was shown to have 99 unsettled traffic tickets.

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Launched Thursday, the BMDS seeks to cut down the number of unsafe buses on the road by preventing public utility bus (PUB) drivers with previous traffic records from even driving out of their terminals.

Under the scheme, drivers have to undergo fingerprint or biometric scanning at designated dispatch terminals before they are given the go signal to ply their routes.

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Only drivers with less than three pending traffic violations are sent on their way.

The program was pilot-tested at the MMDA bus dispatch terminal in Fairview, Quezon City.

As of 4:30 p.m. , the  terminal had  grounded 285 drivers, said Mila Silvestre of the MMDA Organized Bus Route (OBR) department.

The system is expected to reduce the number of PUBs, especially the unregistered ones, Tolentino said.

It draws its information from an MMDA databank where 3,471 city buses operated by 105 firms are registered.

The database was created with the help of the Land Transportation Office, the Land Transportation Franchising  and Regulatory Board and the National Bureau of Investigation.

It includes information on each registered driver, such as his bus company, and his unsettled traffic tickets.

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“Our aim is to instill discipline among PUB drivers and make them aware that we are capable of monitoring them, especially their driving behavior,” MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said in a statement, noting the rise in the number of fatal road accidents last year involving buses.

Carlos described the BMDS terminal as an “improvement” over the OBR of previous MMDA administrations.

“The BMDS is an improved system because the OBR dispatch system was manual. There was no way of knowing if the drivers being sent out had committed violations,” he said.

Other major dispatch terminals are found at South Station in Alabang, Coastal Mall in Parañaque City, Robinsons Fairview and Malabon City. Twelve smaller terminals will be set up all over Metro Manila later this year, Tolentino said.

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