7 things the LTO should prioritize over stupid bans

Metro Manila Traffic

Let’s count all the things LTO wants to regulate and/or ban over the past weeks: LED lights of motorcycles, boxes and saddles for motorcycles, heavily customized vehicles, and vintage cars.

And the agency surely took a lot of flak among rider groups and drivers in general due to this seemingly sudden drive to regulate a heck of a lot of stuff while the LTO still owes vehicle owners and drivers a whole lot.

Here’s our list things the LTO should prioritize over these new regulations and bans.

License Plates

You’d notice just by driving around that a lot of vehicles still sport the old Pilipinas 2000, Perlas ng Silangan, and Matatag na Republika plates. Only new vehicles and a handful of old ones bear the new black and white flimsy metal sheets that the LTO required and collected payment for during the last round of registration.

And where’s the bulk of the pending plates? Somewhere in Customs since the LTO’s supplier abandoned them for failure to pay duties. Have we really fallen behind industrialization that we have to offshore making of plates? All the while the old stock of metal sheets get stolen?

It’s already been two registration cycles for some of us and still no plates.

Stickers

Same with the plates, the LTO charges PhP 50 for stickers every year. However, usually stamped on the official receipt of registration renewal is “No Sticker Available.” And that was in 2015. It’s already 2016 and there are still no 2015 stickers available.

Since the 2015 stickers never arrived and already have no use. The LTO should reimburse us for the unused 2015 stickers. Heck, we’d even go as far as to having the LTO pay interest on the damned sticker fees. Compounded.

Driver’s Licenses

It also been more than a year since the LTO faced a shortage of plastic cards for the driver’s license IDs. Many people had to wait for months. Some still even sport only the receipt that served as a temporary license with validity spanning the three-year renewal cycle all because the LTO couldn’t tell when they’d finally have stocks of ID cards.

Better Systems

Part of all of these inefficiencies is the seeming lack of systems by which the LTO operates. They boast of computerization and automation and yet a simple driver’s license renewal process can set a person back half a day’s worth of a work day (since LTO offices are closed on weekends). That’s millions if not billions in productivity hours lost because of red tape and inefficiency. The LTO owes us better customer experiences. Imagine that we even pay a “Computer Fee” for transactions.

Driver Education Campaigns

The LTO is obsessed with all these bans and regulations, apprehending people, and levying fines instead of focusing on driver education. How many drivers on the road are actually qualified to drive? Prevention is better than cure. “Seminars” are only given to traffic violators. How about giving free orientation to student drivers? And are driving schools even regulated to make sure they teach proper driving rules in the Philippine context? How about elearning? We don’t even see a handy compilation of learning materials for traffic signs, rules, and laws on the LTO website.

Strict Licensing and Registration Renewal

Beyond driver education, we believe that we should even have stricter licensing processes as the current process is a joke. A supposed bribe could get you passing marks on the theory portion.

Something that probably mimics Finland’s B class licensing where you have to go through 18 hours of instructed driving that includes a slippery driving course and 19 theory lessons before you take a theory and driving test.

As for registration renewals, do inspectors actually know what they’re doing. There’s supposedly a Motor Vehicle Inspection Record (MVIR) that serves as a checklist of a car’s roadworthiness and yet we see too many vehicles on the

Fair Enforcement of Traffic Laws

So the LTO wants to regulate vintage cars but many vintage cars I know have better performance and safety over countless PUVS, trucks, and even government vehicles. Why not start with those that actually pose graver threats to public safety?

How many of us have encountered traffic officers and even policemen who have zero idea of basic driving rules and traffic laws to properly enforce them?

We have so many varying standards of law enforcement in this country that it fosters impunity across social strata. We’re left with too many bastards on the road and they come in all types of vehicles from the jeepney too luxury vehicles.

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In the end we think that if we have disciplined motorists, a great load of our traffic burdens will ease. The LTO seems to be just taking stabs at symptoms and not trying to address the root causes of problems

Author: Alex

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