House measure could save lives

The House Committee on Transportation has approved House Bill (HB) No.1318, which seeks to require motorcycle drivers and operators to automatically turn on their headlights as soon as they start their motorcycle engines, and to maintain their headlights on while their motorcycles  are running on all roads during all hours of the day and night.

The committee, chaired by Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento, green-lit the proposed “Mandatory Automatic Headlights On for Motorcycles Act,” which was authored by BUHAY Party-List Representative Mariano Michael Velarde Jr.

The bill aims to enforce a low-cost method to reduce road crashes and prevent day-time and night-time head-on, front-corner, and other forms of collision by increasing motorcycle conspicuousness and visibility.

It requires motorcycle manufacturers, assemblers, and distributors to ensure the Automatic Headlights On System, mechanism or device, are properly installed before the distribution and sale of the said motorcycles, as determined and prescribed by the Implementing Rules and Regulations pursuant to the Act.

Moreover, it mandates that every motorcycle shall be equipped with one to two working headlights. Every motorcycle manufactured or imported into or within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines when this Act takes effect, must have a headlight which automatically turns on when the engine of the motorcycle is started and which must remain lighted as long as the engine is running.

It shall be unlawful for any person to import or cause the importation of any motorcycle without appropriate and operational Automatic Headlights On System, mechanism or device as required herein and in accordance with the Implementing Rules and Regulations which shall be issued pursuant to the Act.

Whether or not the motorcycle is equipped with single beam or multiple beam headlights, the headlights must be of sufficient intensity to reveal to a person or a vehicle at any distance of not less than 30.5 meters when the motorcycle is operated at any speed less than 40.225 kilometers per hour, and at any distance of not less than 61 meters when operated at a speed of 40.225 to 56.315 kilometers per hour,and a distance of 91.5 meters when operated at a speed greater than 56.315 kilometers per hour.

If the motorcycle has a multi-beam headlight, the upper beam must meet the minimum requirement set forth above.

If there is a single beam headlight, it must be aimed so that when the motorcycle is loaded, none of the high intensity portion of the light, at a distance of 7.625 meters ahead, will project higher than the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.

The bill further provides that no new motorcycle shall be allowed initial registration and succeeding renewal of registration unless it is equipped with the necessary Automatic Headlights On System, mechanism or device.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) shall impose fines against drivers, operators, owners of motorcycles, their manufacturers, assemblers, importers and/or distributors for any violation of the Act.

Kathy Kenny

EIC

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