If you’re used to seeing your regular public utility bus (PUB) have only one driver for that 8- or even 12-hour ride back to the province, well things are about to change.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in a memo taking effect Sunday April 9, 2017, is mandating all PUBs to limit their bus drivers to only six hours of straight driving.

Under the memo, an alternate driver must be present to take his place and that bus conductors cannot be allowed to drive because they need to continue providing assistance to passengers of the PUB.

This new policy aims to prevent driver fatigue, which according to the LTFRB, is one of the factors that lead to road accidents. “Driver fatigue is a serious problem resulting in many road mishaps,” the Board said in the memo.

Violators will be penalized Php 5,000 for the first offense; Php 10,000 and a 30-day suspension for the second offense; and a 60-day suspension for the third offense.

If a vehicular accident resulting in damage to property or death and injuries to people is caused by non-compliance to the memo, the LTFRB will use every detail and facts surrounding the incident as ‘aggravating circumstance’ to be able to determine the proper penalty to be imposed.