With EJKs and crime, should motorcycle helmets be required?
MANILA, Philippines – While helmets are vital in ensuring the safety of motorcycle riders, they could also be used by unscrupulous criminals to hide their identities.
This was the security concern raised by a Tuguegarao City councilor during Rappler's #SaferRoadsPH forum held last Wednesday, June 7.
Councilor Claire Callangan said that motorcycle helmets are used by offenders to aid them in their crimes, hiding their faces and leaving officials without an identity to trace.
“Ito’y isang concern dito sa ating siyudad dahil dumadami yung extrajudicial killings o mga di maipaliwanag na pagpatay. Kaya gumagamit ng mga helmet dahil di natin sila ma-identify.” (This is a concern in our city because the number of extrajudicial killings or unexplained killings is increasing. They are using helmets so that we won’t be able to identify them.)
The suggestion is similar to a supposed "no helmet" policy in parts of Bulacan. (READ: Motorcycle riders can't wear helmets in some parts of Bulacan?)
Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Superintendent Oliver Tanseco, however, said wearing helmets is mandatory nationwide.
According to the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, all motorcycle drivers and back riders are required to wear standard helmets to ensure their safety.
After all, motorcycle riders are the most vulnerable road users, according to the studies conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority and the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Last year, Metro Manila recorded a total of 23,105 road crash incidents involving motorcycles. At least 218 riders were killed in 2016 while 11,458 others sustained injuries from various road incidents. (READ: Road Deaths in the PH: Most are motorcycles, pedestrians)
But the implementation of the law faces challenges because of these security concerns.
“Bigyan natin ng balance between safety and security,” Tanseco proposed. (We should provide a balance between safety and security.)
He suggested that officials prohibit tinted visors and ban riders from wearing bonnets and shades.
The police official added that the rider can wear a bonnet and sunglasses when he is on the highway since it’s extremely hot, but once he enters the city, he has to strictly abide by the rules. – Kaela Malig/Rappler.com
Kaela Malig is a Rappler intern
In the Philippines, an average of more than 600 children died from road crash incidents from 2006 to 2015. Seat belts can save lives but infants and children need a more specific type of car seats for them in case of a road mishap.
Want to know more about child safety car seats? Here are some stories:
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