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MMDA: Leniency in traffic apprehensions ‘case-to-case’

MANILA, Philippines — Traffic enforcers will continue to apprehend motorists violating traffic rules despite being lenient to those committing so-called “simple” offenses, particularly during the holiday season, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

MMDA acting chairman Romando Artes on Friday announced that traffic enforcers could let go of motorists who would commit “simple” violations of traffic rules like swerving, meaning they would no longer pull them over and issue tickets, but instead just remind them about their offense.

“Simple violations that traffic enforcers see as something that can be let go, they will no longer be flagged down because if they do so, they could only cause heavy traffic,” Artes said in Filipino during a press briefing.

He added that traffic enforcers would instead focus on traffic management as the agency expects heavier vehicle traffic as the holiday season approaches.

A stalled vehicle, a collision of vehicles and a traffic apprehension all done within 30 minutes could result in additional 2.5 kilometers of traffic build-up and additional 42 minutes of travel time, according to a study by the agency.

Artes, however, pointed out that enforcers would continue flagging down erring motorists for other violations like disregarding traffic signs, using the EDSA Bus Carousel for non-buses, violating the number coding scheme and reckless driving.

He said that a motorist who changes lane could be forgiven by traffic enforcers, provided that the motorist does not hit other motorists.

Leniency in traffic apprehension will also be on a “case-to-case basis” and traffic enforcers will decide for themselves, according to the MMDA chief.

The agency is set to implement measures that will ease vehicular traffic along major roads in Metro Manila for the coming holiday season, one of which is the deployment of traffic enforcers until midnight, instead of the usual end of shift at 10 p.m., starting Nov. 13.

It will also require shopping malls to submit traffic management plans for their events like mall-wide sales, which should be done on weekends.