Traffic violation tickets, fines to be standardized
BY FRANCO JOSE C. BAROÑA AND CHRISTIAN CROW MAGHANOY
The Manila Times
THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) will start implementing the SINGLE-TICKETING SYSTEM FOR TRAFfiC violation apprehensions in Metro Manila BEGINNING THE fiRST QUARTER OF 2023. Transport Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo “Jay Art” Tugade, head of the LTO, said the objective of the single-ticketing system is to “establish a uniform definition for traffic violation and a “common and unified penalty system” in Metro Manila. At present, the different traffic management units of local government units in Metro Manila separately issue traffic violation receipts to motorists who get apprehended for various traffic and road violations. Once the different [local government units] and different government agencies authorized to issue [traffic violation] tickets are connected, we will be able to monitor the performance of drivers via a common demerit point system,” Tugade explained during the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday. He pointed out that the system will “indirectly improve” the traffic situation in the metropolis “because the implication of its implementation is that we will monitor and give demerit points to erring motorists.” “By doing this, the idea is to relieve our roads from irresponsible drivers. So, we can better guard the privilege we give to drivers, and we will make sure that the privilege to drive can only be given to those who deserve it and those who are responsible drivers,” Tugade said. The Metro Manila Council (MMC) vowed to prioritize the implementation of the single ticketing system as well as the standardization of traffic fines. San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier “Francis” Zamora, the newly elected chairman of the MMC, said that under the unified system, traffic violators will pay a standard fine regardless of the location where they were apprehended. He said a technical working group is working on how the scheme will be implemented which will also necessitate the integration of the databases of the LTO, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Metro Manila LGUs. “My task is to get everyone to the standard fines. We will talk to Metro Manila mayors and we will present this to them,” Zamora said in a radio interview. Tugade clarified that there are no plans to raise the penalties for traffic violations because one of the objectives of the single-trafficking system is to “harmonize the different traffic violations and the different traffic penalties being imposed by the different agencies authorized to issue traffic tickets.” The LTO chief noted that during a recent consultative meeting, they learned that there are LGUs that impose a P300 fine for those not wearing a motorcycle helmet while others impose P1,500. “The intention is not to increase the penalties, but the intention is to harmonize the different penalties of the different LGUs so that there is an agreement on the penalty that should be implemented,” said Tugade. “The intention really is not to increase the penalty but to have a penalty that will serve as a deterrent for motorists not to think twice about not obeying traffic laws,” he added. Tugade said that while they are eyeing the implementation of the single-ticketing system in the first quarter of 2023, the LTO continues to conduct consultative meetings with the different stakeholders. “We already have a draft memorandum circular, we have already rolled it out, we are just waiting for feedback from our partners in the program,” he said.