You can run, but you can't hide from Manila's no contact apprehension program

For some drivers, they think they can break some rules because there's no traffic enforcer present. Not only is that a dangerous mindset, but it's also reckless and illegal. The thing is, enforcers can't be around 24/7. Acknowledging that problem, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso launched the no-contact apprehension policy around his city.

Domagoso warned traffic violators in Manila to “drive safely or risk being caught by the city’s digital traffic eye and pay a huge fine”. With that, hundreds of CCTV cameras are on the lookout for traffic violators around the country's capital. These cameras are in accident-prone areas and busy main thoroughfares for constant (and consistent) enforcement of traffic rules, as well as a deterrent for potential violators.

The cameras don't just record incidents. These permanent fixtures can also take snapshots of the erring motorist's license plate. Once the tags are in the database, the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) processes the information sourced from the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Thanks to these cameras, the enforcers of Manila can divert their attention to other parts of the city to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

“Manila’s NCAP systems are by far the most modern traffic rules enforcement system adopted in the Philippines. Using high definition (HD) cameras with their signature laser tracking technologies installed in key locations in the city, NCAP system is a highly-efficient camera network capable of detecting traffic violations,” said Domagoso. Of course, the main advantage of these cameras over on-site enforcers is the ability to have a better vantage point and constant monitoring. “The system works at both daytime and nighttime, twenty-four hours, seven days a week, rain or shine,” adds the Mayor.

So, what happens when a motorist is caught by one of the city's cameras? The notice is within two weeks after the date of the alleged violation via registered mail of the vehicle's owner. These then must be settled at the MTPB main office or designated banks and remittance centers. Failure to pay the fine means the violator cannot renew their registration, on top of additional fines and penalties.

To avoid all the hassle, Mayor Domagoso has one tip for those driving around Manila: Obey the rules, or pay up.