Bill called “Citizen Traffic Watch”

A new house bill is looking to empower the public for reporting erring drivers, road incidents and other traffic-related violations by making their personal videos as valid proof.

Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy has filed House Bill No. 1266 or the “Citizen Traffic Watch Act”, recognizing videos from dashcams, private-owned CCTVs, and other video footages coming from citizens as admissible electronic evidence of traffic violations.

This act is said to encourage citizen participation, as any concerned individual may report and submit amateur video footage from their smartphones or dashcams that involve traffic incidents. Once it is verified, then the video can be used as proof to penalize erring motorists. On the other hand, the identity of the sender will remain confidential unless needed based on the discretion of the deciding court.

The lawmaker also sees this as a way to cover the areas and other roads that do not have proper CCTV units to monitor road users, going hand-in-hand with the MMDA's no-contact apprehension policy, as well as the LTO's Citisend app.

Also included in the bill is the acquisition of in-house tools with help from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to process video evidence and manage data for searchability and analysis, plus the necessary education of citizens regarding all traffic and transportation laws that are in the scope of this bill, namely the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013, the revised Penal Code and its amendments, the Civil Code and the Criminal Code of the Philippines.

Driving in Subic with strict traffic enforcement and enforcers is a clear example that we can follow traffic rules. We'll see if this piece of legislation would eventually make less kamote drivers on the road.