Have you ever been stopped on the road by an officer? If you have, then I am pretty sure that you thought it was fine. Although no harm was done in being issued a ticket—except the hassle, of course—it has been a habit of a lot of Filipino drivers. This time around, it might be a little bit different.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has issued new rules which talk about the idea of drivers violating different traffic codes and rules.
What are these new LTO rules?
The LTO published the new IRR or the implementing rules and regulations of the Republic Act (R.A.) 10930. This tackles all the licenses and the amendments to the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
In the document, there is also a creation of the LTO point system. The LTO point system says that all of these points “will be used to assess the fitness and eligibility of driver applicants for their desired license transactions. To add to that, they are to be utilized as a primary tool to identify, deter, and penalize repeat offenders of traffic laws and ordinances.”
If you want to read and get access to the exact IRR imposed with the new LTO rules, you can access it here.
How does the new LTO rules work?
As per the provisions, the point system works like how it normally does. Being caught violating a grave violation would automatically give a five-point demerit. Less grave violations would be three (3) demerits and light violations would be equivalent to one (1) demerit.
Which violations are considered light, less, and grave violations?
Light violations or violations which would give one (1) demerit point revolve around the following:
- First (1st) offense of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act
- Failure to wear the seatbelt for the first (1st) offense
- First (1st) offense of the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act
- Unsafe towing
- Not being able to provide a fare discount
- Failure to wear a motorcycle helmet for the first (1st) offense
- First (1st) offense of Smoke belching
- Picking up and dropping off passenger outside terminals
- First (1st) offense of Reckless driving
- Failure to carry driver’s license while operating a motor vehicle
- Failure to give proper signs
- Overcharging/undercharging of fare
- Defective, broken, or tampered with taxi meters
Lesser grave violations, which would give a demerit of three (3) points, are the following:
- Second (2nd) offense of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act
- Second (2nd) offense of being caught not wearing the seatbelt
- Failure to wear a motorcycle helmet (second offense)
- Second offense of the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act
- Second (2nd) offense of not wearing a seatbelt
- Illegal turns
- Allowing passengers on top of any motor vehicle
- Second (2nd) offense Smoke belching (second offense)
- Reckless driving (second offense)
- If a driver is caught parking at an intersection; within four (4) meters of a fire hydrant; in front of a private driveway; or any place where signs of prohibition are installed
- If caught not dimming headlights when approaching another vehicle
Last but definitely not the least, grave violations or violations that would incur five (5) demerit points:
- Third (3rd) and succeeding violations of the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act
- Third (3rd) and succeeding offenses of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act
- Colorum violations
- Failure for either the driver or passengers to wear a seatbelt
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Smoke belching third (3rd) and succeeding violations
- Driving a motor vehicle used in the commission or influence of a crime
- Overtaking on a curve
- Overtaking when left side is not visible to oncoming traffic
- Failure to wear a motorcycle helmet
- Third (3rd) and succeeding apprehension for reckless driving
- Disregarding and ignoring traffic signs
What are demerit points?
Demerit points are taken if you are caught violating a traffic rule or violation. The following is the point system for all drivers to be aware of to avoid the worst case scenario of having drivers’ licenses revoked:
- One (1) or more demerit points would prohibit drivers to change their classification (non-professional, and professional). This has a refresher of one (1) whole year.
- Five (5) demerit points would require a certain driver a reorientation course which is conducted by the LTO or a provider.
- More than ten (10) demerit points would require a certain driver to pass a theoretical exam before allowing them to renew their driver’s license.
- Every ten (10) demerit points would require a driver to undergo a reorientation course or a seminar for public utility vehicles (PUVs). This also applies if the same violation is done three (3) or more times over a validity of a license; and
- Forty (40) demerit points would directly revoke a driver’s license for two (2) years.
Now that you know the new LTO rules set, you must, at all costs, follow them Because having your driver’s license revoked is too much of a hassle.
To add to that, drivers who operate public utility vehicles or PUVs would be given double the demerit points for violations as it is an expectation that PUV drivers have utmost discipline.
How about previous violations?
As per the notice, the amassing of the demerit points since the initial date of the license issuance is up until the renewal. However, it should be noted that the agency archives all prior violations and they account it for the new LTO rules that are set.
So, if you had previous violations, don’t think that you’re automatically safe—the LTO archives and saves different violations that were incurred to both public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers.
When is the implementation of these new LTO rules?
As per LTO, no specific date for the implementation of any of these rules are out yet. Furthermore, they are still in the process of observing and studying whether or not these rules will be effective in straightening and disciplining drivers all over the country.
What do you think about the new LTO rules that were published? Would all of these rules be sufficient to improve and strengthen public roads usage in the Philippines? Or would this be another flop in terms of attempting to improve the country’s road discipline?