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Bike lanes dry run starts tomorrow

THE WEEKLONG dry run of using the newly designated motorcycle lanes along Commonwealth and Macapagal Avenues will start 6 a.m. tomorrow (Monday) where motorcyclists who stray from the special lanes will undergo an on-the-spot roadside seminar on safety, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said yesterday that erring 2-wheeler motorists will be flagged down to undergo an hour-long lecture on safe motorcycle riding by educators from MMDA and Motorcycle Philippines Federation (MPF).

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After completing the seminar, stickers stating that the rider has completed the seminar will be attached by the MMDA on the motorcycle’s fuel tank.

The special lanes cover the fourth lane of the 12.5-kilometer Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and the rightmost lane of Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City and Parañaque City.

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Tolentino and Assistant General Manager Emerson Carlos will oversee the operations in Quezon City, while Deputy Chair Alex Cabanilla and Road Emergency Group Director Yves Gonzales will supervise the launch at Macapagal Avenue.

The MPF will hold a motorcade from Quezon Memorial Circle to Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, to signify their support on the implementation of the road scheme.

Tolentino said that Edsa will adopt the system if the pilot project on the two highways will successfully reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and decongest traffic.

“After evaluation, we need to see how the project will turn out and we plan to apply it to Edsa,” Tolentino told the Inquirer.

The MMDA chair said that motorcyclists on the dedicated lane are not exempted from the 60-kilometer per hour speed limit imposed on the two major roads.

He stressed that the motorcycle lane is not exclusive to motorcycles. Other vehicles may use the motorcycle lanes if the other lanes are full but motorcycles are not allowed to leave their designated lane.

After the dry run, erring motorcycle riders who will be caught outside the segregated motorcycle lane will be fined P500 for first offense and for subsequent offenses.

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Headlights turned on

He said motorcyclists should also turn on their headlights even during daytime, based on a revived implementation of an old MMDA memorandum.

He said violators will be flagged down for lecture during the dry run. After this, they will pay P150 fine for every offense.

He also reminded motorcycle drivers that they should get out of the motorcycle lane at least 100 meters before reaching a U-turn slot to prevent accidents. MMDA had placed signages at the entrance of the U-turn slots for motorcycles.

The motorcycle lane segregation is meant to set order among different vehicles crowding the major roads and curb accidents, Tolentino said.

MMDA Traffic Engineering Center director Noemi Recio said 12,656 motorcycle-related accidents and 104 deaths were recorded in 2008. The numbers rose to 13,561 accidents with 105 deaths in 2009, and to 16,208 accidents with 177 fatalities last year.

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TAGS: Bike lane, Metro Manila, motorcycle, road safety
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