VOLUNTARY remove them or you will find your vehicles impounded once accosted on the streets.
This is the warning issued anew by Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group director, Brigadier General Roberto B. Fajardo, on unauthorized users of sirens, blinkers and other gadgets following complaints and observations from the public that these gadgets are being used by abusive drivers to squeeze their way into heavy traffic and intimidate fellow motorists.
On orders of PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, PNP-HPG agents across the country have stepped-up its crackdown on violators of Presidential Decree 96 or those illegally using sirens, blinkers and other gadgets on their motor vehicles .
“We are calling on all motor vehicle owners who have fitted their cars, motorbike and SUVs with illegal sirens, blinkers and other unauthorized gadgets to immediately remove them or they will have trouble with the law once we spot them on the streets. Those who will refuse to have their gadgets removed will find their motor vehicles impounded,” said Fajardo.
Late last month, PNP-HPG agents apprehended five traffic enforcers from the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety engaged in the illegal racket of providing escort service to funeral cortege. A few days after, two former Metro Manila Development Authority traffic enforcers were apprehended for the same offense.
Fajardo ordered the impounding of the motorcycles of the accused which were all fitted with sirens and blinkers. The first five were accused of engaging in a ‘motorcycle escort-for-a-free’ racket, oftentimes roaming different funeral parlors and memorial homes in their jurisdiction and looking for families who want to have motorcycle escorts when they lay their departed ones to their final resting places.
On the other hand, the two others were found to be illegally escorting tourists on their way to the airport.
The seven are just among the many local police and civilian traffic enforcers engaged in the age-old racket of providing escort service to wedding and funeral entourage for fees ranging from P500 to P1,000 each depending on the distance traveled.
These erring personnel are known for stopping traffic so their clients can easily pass thru busy roads. Some of them have been apprehended by the PNP-HPG while also providing escort service to Japanese, Korean and Chinese tourists at the NAIA terminals and their hotel of choice.
Fajardo said the accused have been charged with usurpation of authority and violation of Presidential Decree 96 or the law which prohibits the use of sirens, blinkers and other gadgets on motor vehicles except those being used by the President, marked police and military vehicles, ambulances and fire trucks.
Fajardo has ordered a massive crackdown against unauthorized users of sirens and blinkers and other blinding LED lights on private cars, SUVs and motorcycles.
He also warned that barangay and private security vehicles are not allowed to use sirens and blinkers and those who will be spotted by his men on the streets will be immediately apprehended, given traffic citation tickets and their illegal gadgets confiscated.
He issued the warning amid observations that many barangay vehicles and those being used by private security agencies in Metro Manila and other parts of the country have been equipped with sirens and blinkers that are being used by their drivers to commit traffic violations and frighten other motorists.
“We are moving forcefully against the indiscriminate use of prohibited sirens, bells, horns, whistles, or similar gadgets that produce staggering sounds; as well as illegal dome lights, signaling or flashing devices,” Gen. Albayalde said.