What to do when a dubious traffic enforcer flags you down?

What to do when a dubious traffic enforcer flags you down?
(UPDATED) A viral Facebook post reports how a man claiming he's a traffic enforcer – but not in uniform – rudely apprehended an alleged violator

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The man in this picture has been identified as a member of the Quezon City local traffic unit, and this matter is currently under investigation. Mara Cepeda is a writer with Move.PH. 


The driver he apprehended Saturday morning, June 20, along Aurora Boulevard in Manila couldn’t tell. Nathaniel Melegrito Tolentino said the unidentified man who flagged him down claimed he was a traffic enforcer – but he was not in uniform.

Tolentino’s Facebook post detailing his ordeal and the photo of the alleged traffic enforcer went viral with about 34,000 shares as of Monday afternoon, June 22.

kaninang umaga sa aurora blvd. going cubao. may nagpatigil sakin na traffic enforcer daw beating the red light daw ako….

Posted by Nathaniel Melegrito Tolentino on Saturday, 20 June 2015

If the man was indeed a traffic enforcer, how should he have conducted himself when apprehending a Tolentino for a supposed violation? 

This is what the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) protocol says: 

  • Greet the driver with respect and identify yourself.
  • Inform the driver of his violation.
  • State your authority.
  • Respectfully ask for his driver’s license.
  • Inform the driver not to alight from the vehicle.
  • Should there be any complaint, state the availability of the Traffic Adjudication Board (TAB) for lodging a complaint within (5) days or the Roadside Traffic Arbitration (RTA) during apprehension (on site).

MMDA particularly suggests this sample apprehension dialogue for traffic officers:

“Good Morning, Sir/Madam. I am Traffic Officer Juan Dela Cruz. You violated a traffic rule, you obstructed the flow of traffic. Under MMDA law (Republic Act 7924), I am authorized to confiscate your license should there be a need to do so. May I have your driver’s license, please? You are also requested, Sir/Madam, not to alight from your vehicle.”

The MMDA also lists down the following steps traffic officers should take when apprehending traffic violators:

  • Flag down the vehicle and lead it to the roadside where it will not obstruct the flow of traffic.
  • Courteously inform the driver of his violation.
  • Request for the drivers license, vehicle registration, and other pertinent documents.
  • Verify records of driver from central database.
  • Inform the driver of his previous records should there be any.
  • Accomplish the traffic violation receipt or TVR without unnecessary delay or argument.
  • Issue the second copy to the driver/motorist and inform him/her where and when to pay his/her fine.

How did traffic enforcers treat you before? Tell us about your experience by tweeting @moveph or emailing us at move.ph@rappler.com. You can also post your photos and reports on MovePH’s Facebook page.  Rappler.com



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