STRICT ENFORCEMENT, NO EXEMPTIONS
WAS it a case of “Damn if you do, damn if you don’t” for a traffic enforcer who was arrested for enforcing the city ordinance requiring riders to wear helmets?
July Espino, a traffic enforcer, in Dagupan City was incredulous when he was collared by his office as a back-rider on a motorcycle without a helmet on, a violation of City Ordinance 1922-2008 providing for Supplementary Rules on the Use of Motorcycle Helmet.
He was seen riding behind the rider without a helmet as well.
“The law applies even to our traffic enforcers,” said Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) chief Carlito Ocampo who ordered the apprehension of, who caught on video as back rider to a main rider who was also without crash helmets along M.H. del Pilar street on September 25.
Espino’s arrest was made the very day the POSO announced the strict enforcement of the ‘helmet’ ordinance in support to Republic Act 10054 (An Act Mandating all Motorcycle Riders to Wear Protective Motorcycle Helmets while Driving and Providing Penalties thereof).
However, as it turned out, what the video apparently did not show prior to being arrested was he had flagged down the rider, Dominic Jay J. Meer of Barangay Nagsaing, Calasiao, for not wearing his helmet.
Since Meer was not able to present his driver’s license, Espino had Meer’s motorcycle impounded at the POSO office, and he decided to board Meer’s motorcycle as back-rider to direct the latter to city hall where the unit was to be impounded.
It was at this time when both were caught on camera not wearing helmets by a netizen who uploaded the video in his Facebook account, and had since gone viral.
Ocampo said Estrada should have sought assistance from other traffic enforcers in his area.
“We are very thankful that a netizen uploaded this video, we need everyone’s cooperation in instilling discipline not only in our motorists but also in our enforcers. We will not tolerate wrong doings and the law should be applied to all including us,” Ocampo said.
As of September 26, POSO has already apprehended 145 violators of the ‘helmet’ ordinance and were all meted corresponding fines. (With report from CIO/JCB)