By Aaron Recuenco
Next target: Heavily-tinted cars.
After launching an aggressive campaign against illegal use of sirens and blinkers, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is training its eyes on heavily-tinted cars as part of what it describes as campaign to discipline and motorists and compel them to follow the law.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde explained that the use of dark tints in car windshields and windows goes against the two existing laws being implemented in the country—the Republic Act (RA) 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and the RA 8750 or the Seat Belts Use Act.
“We are mandated to enforce the laws on road safety, yet, there are heavily-tinted cars on the streets and we are wondering why these are being allowed,” said Albayalde.
“How can the policemen, or traffic enforcers, know that the drivers for instance are using cellular phones while driving or they are using the seatbelts if the windshields and windows are heavily-tinted?,” he emphasized.
The official said that he had already discussed the issue with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
On Monday, the PNP signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Transportation and other government agencies to further strengthen the enforcement capabilities of the Inter-Agency Council for traffic or I-ACT.
The I-ACT, it was recalled, was created to integrate the conduct of traffic management, decongestion of traffic flow, anti-colorum operations and strict enforcement of traffic laws, rules, and regulations including illegal parking.
The agreement calls for PNP-Highway Patrol Group to deploy more personnel to address traffic woes in metropolis and conduct nationwide crackdown on colorum vehicles.
But Albayalde argued that the deployment of as many policemen and traffic enforcers to implement traffic and road safety laws face stumbling blocks especially on the use of heavily-tinted cars.
In the coming days, another law on road safety will be implemented, which is the Republic Act No 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last month.
“The enforcers are mandated to apprehend violators of some laws but how can they know if the motorists or those inside the vehicles are complying when they cannot even see what’s inside the vehicles?,” the PNP chief stressed.
Albayalde, however, expressed confidence that the DOTr, through the Land Transportation Office, will be able to come up with measures against the use of dark tints in the soonest possible time.
“These are all in the pipeline, this is just the start of our effort between and among the concerned agencies,” said Albayalde.
It was recalled that Albayalde has ordered all policemen across the country to run after motorists who are illegally using sirens and blinkers. He also warned policemen from moonlighting as escorts of Very Important Persons (VIPs) using motorcycles with sirens and blinkers.