I’ve driven motorcycles since 1993 and the new “motorsiklo lane” in the Philippines is DANGEROUS and FUCKING STUPID! I’ve lived here 7 years and I’ve seen some of the dumbest things on Earth. I’ve also seen some of the most wonderful, but this goes past regular stupid and into a new realm! And talk about DANGEROUS!
For those who don’t live here, please understand this is the worst traffic on Earth! Los Angeles? Walk in the park. Paris? A Sunday drive. Panama City? Downright leisurely. Yes, I’ve driven in all these cities. To quote a Filipino, “the concept of “lane” to most kinds of Filipino drivers is an imaginary notion at best” (read his article here). My 75 year old mom puts it best I think: ”it’s like they think the line in the road is supposed to be lined up with their hood ornament”.
Most big roads here have two “yellow lanes” that are supposed to be only for buses and taxi’s which are supposed to stay OUT of the lanes for regular cars. Good idea. Enforced? NEVER. So the idea of making a NEW dedicated lanes for “motosiklo’s” when you can’t even enforce rules on other dedicated lanes is ridonkulous.
BTW, I’ll only refer to them as “motorsiklo’s” because to me anything below 600cc is a moped, not a motorcycle. Frikkin under powered 75cc bikes on an 5 lane (10 lane in practice) highway. BRILLIANT!
So to “help” traffic, the brilliant minds at Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have now rolled out a dedicated lane for mopeds:
Now you can’t really see this perfectly in the pic I snapped above, but the lane for motorcycles is the 2nd from the far left. SUPER SAFE spot for motorcycles! Hell I hate riding in that lane with a 900cc bike on the highway in the USA! Now imagine trying that on a crappy 125cc bike in the most congested traffic you’ve ever seen where NO ONE EVERY, and I mean fucking never, LOOKS before changing lanes!
Another shot. You can see the car on the right. Think he’s changing lanes? Nope. Hell, that’s “good driving” here compared to most that actually straddle the line.
Now on some of the other big city roads the new lane is the 2nd from the left. Why? You’re going to confuse the bikers and that lane is even worse because you’ve got all the buses and taxi’s. Thankfully someone uploaded a video to youtube to demonstrate my point:
Jeebus! Over on a PI-targeted news site there is a post about this new lane (read here). A rider named Dan David posted in the comments his experience. Pretty much says it all:
I was riding my 750 CC Yamaha on the Macapagal Highway yesterday AM. It was hard to stay on the Motorsiklo lane all the time because the designated lane was blocked by construction; parked trucks and vans. PUJs are going in and out of the lane, loading and unloading passengers. There was a section of the lane near DFA where there was build up of sand that made the road dangerous to motorcycles. Also in front of the DFA, there parked taxi’s, and people standing on the lane. And the teams of MMDA personnel who were supposed to enforce this “law” parked their vehicles on the Motorsiklo lane.
Trying to ride and stay on the designated lane is unsafe for motorcyclists.
I think this is just another gimmick of the MMDA and another source of future kurakut that will victimize motorcyclists.
What happened to the MMDA law that made it mandatory to have license plate numbers on helmets?
Now I read that there is a proposal that would make it illegal for passengers on motorcycles to wear full face helmet so that eyewitnesses could identity them in case they are involved in crimes such as assassinations, holdups and robbery. What about the safety of the 99% of law-abiding motorcycle passengers who would like to wear full face helmets of better protection. This in another asinine “law” that cannot be enforced and will be another source of “kurakut” to the motorcyclng public are told to wear helmets to protect themselves, but should only wear less safe helmets because they might be involved in crimes.
Only in the Philippines
Well said Dan. So the idiots at MMDA are forcing people to ride in a lane that is often filled with parked cars (even those of the enforcers!), construction materials, PUV’s (Public Utility Vehicles). Why? Ah, the magic word: kurakut! CORRUPTION! Bribe money! This is all about getting more bribes!
I included his entire comment because the bit about outlawing full face helmets so it’d be easier to identify robbers, HAHAHAHA. So funny, so sad.
Now any locals that have read this far, congrats! You haven’t written me off as an arrogant foreigner telling the “flips” how they should run their country. That said, you might wanna stop reading at this point, heh.
MORONS! You want traffic to be better here? You want EVERYTHING to be better here? SIMPLE! Stop just accepting things have to be this way! ”It’s just the way things are done in the Philippines and you don’t understand because you’re not from here”. I’ve heard it a MILLION times. And you’re 1/2 right! I don’t understand it! You all bitch about it. I read the local paper every morning. DO SOMETHING. Tell the corrupt MMDA guy that pulled you over for “swerving” just to get a bribe to FUCK OFF! Yes, you might get arrested. You might have to stand up in a court of “law” where you could call the guy out for being corrupt! GOOD.
I see articles every day in the paper about politicians being investigated for corruption. Know how many articles I’ve seen about CONVICTIONS?!?! About as many as I’ve seen about prisoners walking out the front door of the jails.
I’m done bitching, I have to go to a birthday party. PLEASE people, at a minimum, don’t pass bullshit rules like this “motorsiklo lane” thing just to APPEAR like you’re trying. I know you’re all about appearances but this one is REALLY dangerous! Enforce the rules you’ve already got! Get rid of the redundant agencies so you’ll have accountability and enough money to DOUBLE the salary of your law enforcement people. While you’re at it, get 1/2 those buses off the road! They’re always more than 1/2 empty. How the hell can they even stay in business? Supply and Demand people, kinda useful in a well-run economy. Oh, that’s right, your last president issued a shitload of licenses for buses without following the law that says there has to be proof more buses are needed. Surprise! Isn’t she on trial for corruption. Bet that IF she gets convicted she’ll get a pardon. You know, like she did for the president before her. Christ people!
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