BACOLOD City – The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) has collected up to P1.5 million in fines from traffic violations here since January 2017.
The penalties were paid by motorists and pedestrians who violated City Ordinance 338, or the Comprehensive Traffic Ordinance, which includes regulation of public utility jeepney routes and parking areas, and elimination of jaywalking.
Superintendent Luisito Acebuche, chief of BTAO, said that as of Apr 20, traffic enforcers continue to apprehend motorcycle riders without helmets and jaywalkers.
Data from BTAO showed that from March 27 to April 19, a total of 1,478 motorcycle riders were nabbed for helmet use violation and they paid a total of P362,000 in fines.
The city government strictly implemented the helmet use policy starting March 27. Violators pay P300 for first offense; P500, for second offense; and P1,000 for third offense.
Driving without license is fined P1,000.
BTAO also collected around P300,000 in fines from motorcycle drivers who failed to present their vehicles’ official receipts and car registrations. A total of 269 motorcycles were impounded during these operations.
Moreover, from April 13 to 19, 1,008 pedestrians were apprehended for violating the anti-jaywalking ordinance in streets around the downtown area. From those who paid fines of PHP100 for first offense, BTAO collected P180,000.
For second offense, violators will pay P200, and for the third offense, P300.
However, 214 persons failed to pay the fines and instead rendered four hours of community service by doing clean-up activities in the vicinity of the BTAO office inside the Bacolod City Police Office compound in Barangay Taculing.
Councilor Dindo Ramos, chairperson of committee on transportation, said the BTAO collections need to be put in trust fund so that it could be used for its traffic awareness programs.
Ramos said he would author an ordinance creating a trust fund since at present, the BTAO collections are deposited in the city’s General Fund account. (NLG/PNA)