CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/07 February) – Being stuck in traffic somewhere in the City of Golden Friendship should come as no surprise as the figures coming from the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) tend to show that the city’s streets have become unfriendly to motorists and pedestrians alike.
If traffic is at a standstill, most likely a road accident is happening somewhere or a traffic officer is issuing a citation ticket to a violator.
In 2010, the RTA caught 27,024 traffic offenders and recorded 5,425 road accidents in the city.
The traffic accidents claimed at least 25 lives, injured 1,604 persons and resulted in damages amounting to P26,989,000.
RTA executive overseer P/Supt. Antonio C. Montalba, in his annual report sent to City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano, said that 8,904 traffic violators had paid their fines, 18,242 were awaiting charges, 220 had been charged in court and 382 cases involved violations by trisikad drivers.
Trisikads are bicycles attached to metal contraptions that can carry two or three passengers.
During the period, the RTA served 385 traffic warrants to violators, 118 of whom paid fines, 199 paid cash bond and 15 were detained.
Montalba said the RTA collected P2,592,332.00 in traffic violation fines last year for apprehensions (P2,092,602), traffic clearance fees (P99,900), traffic warrant fees (P281,930), impounded vehicle (P236,320), confiscated items fees (P6,600), and towing services fees (P37,220).
Out of the 1,155 vehicles that were impounded, 776 had been released, 301 were still on hand and 78 owners had rendered community service, Montalba said.
Cars topped the list of vehicles involved in traffic accidents with 1,904 closely followed by motorcycles with 1,562. Public utility jeepneys came in third with 1414, taxi with 1294 and pickups with 692.
The RTA report also cited such violations as illegal parking, drag racing, and overcharging by taxi drivers.
As part of its public awareness drive on traffic rules and policies, the RTA continuously carries out its year-round traffic education outreach program in various schools, barangays and transport groups, traffic safety seminars for violators and drivers, and the installation of signage and pavement markings.
The RTA has employed creative approaches to discipline notoriously errant drivers by letting them do community service but actually require them to serve the city dumpsite aside from letting them undergo seminars, hailing them to court and imposing fines.
Recently a crackdown on powerful audio systems in public utility jeepneys has been undertaken after an accident involving a jeepney and hauler truck in Barangay Tablon last month that claimed six lives.
Two were killed on the spot and four others died in a hospital days after. Eighteen other persons were injured. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)