Remember that guy who got instant social media fame by posting a video of himself driving from the passenger seat (among other things)? Well, he just had his license revoked by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), permanently. Per the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Mike Lopez, the driver in the video, is the first driver to be perpetually banned from driving and getting a driver's license in the Philippines.
In a memorandum issued by the LTO, Lopez has been charged with multiple violations including speeding, reckless driving, failure to wear or use a seatbelt, and driving a motor vehicle without a steering wheel (Unauthorized Motor Vehicle Modification). Aside from his license being revoked, Lopez is also required to pay penalties for the violations which range from Php 1,000 to Php 5,000.
Lopez failed to appear before the LTO despite a subpoena being issued against him last May 29. His failure to appear meant that Lopez disregarded the opportunity to present his side and coordinate with the agency.
DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade said that the LTO's decision should be a stern warning to the public that motorists should comply with traffic laws and regulations.
“Driving on public roads is a privilege. Owning a license is a privilege. When we use those roads, we partake in the shared responsibility of road safety. What Mr. Lopez did was an utter disregard for the safety of motorists and pedestrians. He poses a danger to the public and, therefore, has no place on our public roads,” said Tugade.
Following the decision, LTO chief assistant secretary Edgar Galvante urged the public to report irresponsible motorists so that they may be penalized accordingly.
The violations made by Lopez surfaced when he first posted videos and photos on social media. In a video, he was seen driving from the passenger seat and even lighting a cigarette while the vehicle is moving. He also posted a photo driving a vehicle on the expressway without a steering wheel attached. In a separate post, he was shown driving at a speed of 220 km/h.
You may read the DOTr's full memorandum below.