7,091 motorcycle riders accosted for unauthorized back-riding
More than 7,000 motorcycle riders were accosted across the country since July 10 for violating the rules set by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 for pillion riding by allowing people other than their spouses or live-in partners to back-ride with them, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield revealed on Sunday.
Police Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar, JTF COVID Shield Commander, said a total of 7,091 violators were recorded from July 10 to July 18 when pillion riding is allowed only strengthened the government’s resolve to implement the two rules for back-riding.
These are: installed barriers that passed the quality safety standard of the NTF Against COVID-19 and the riders must be married or living-in couples.
“For a long time, motorcycle riders had repeatedly requested the government to allow at least their partners to back-ride with them due to limited public transportation. And now that the government finally granted their request, they openly and brazenly disregarded the rules that the government was asking from them in return to ensure their safety from the coronavirus infection,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar said based on feedback, most motorcycle riders accosted were caught back-riding with other relatives, friends, neighbors and other people which violates the NTF Against COVID-19 regulation that the pillion riding is exclusive for married and live-in couples.
Of the 7,091 accosted violators, a total of 6,476 were not only unauthorized couples but also with no installed barriers while the other 615 violators have installed barriers, but are not couples at all, according to Eleazar.
Police Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) has the most number of accosted violators with 1,755 unauthorized couples; followed by the Police Regional Office 5 (Bicol) with 741; Police Regional Office 6 (Western Visayas) with 737; and Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) with 675.
Eleazar said police forces, particularly those supervising and manning the Quarantine Control Points (QCPs) also accosted a total of 7,680 motorcycle riders, who were proven to be married or live-in couples, but have no installed barriers.
All were warned that they must comply with the motorcycle barrier installation within the prescribed grace period.
“Those who were accosted were either warned or cited for violation. Our personnel on the ground were instructed to make sure that those accosted would comply with the rules set by the NTF Against COVID-19,” said Eleazar.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier announced that the NTF Against COVID-19 approved the recommendation of the JTF COVID Shield to extend the deadline for motorists to comply with the approved motorcycle barriers from July 19 to July 26.