There could be more truck lanes on the road if this particular house bill becomes law.
If House Bill 923 or the Act Institutionalizing Truck Lanes in All Major Thoroughfares in Metro Manila and Highly Urbanized Cities is passed, there is an expected 22% improvement in travel time for trucks in all the places that will implement it. According to a 2014 report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Philippines loses PHP 2.4 billion per day in potential income as a result of the traffic problem.
As cited by Congressman Mario Vittorio “Marvey” A. Mariño, author of the House bill, truck lanes along C5 and Katipunan have already been tried and tested, and now wants the lanes to be mandatory in all highly urbanized cities. He even wants the truck lanes extended to Congressional Road, Mindanao Avenue, and Road 10.
The agencies designated to specify which lanes will be used exclusively by trucks are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (iACT) which is composed of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Local authorities are tasked to help facilitate the safe and orderly movement of traffic and signs should be put up so there will be proper identification of these lanes.
Under the bill, the DPWH and i-ACT must implement the rules and regulations and dole out penalties to truck lane violators. Those found violating will have to pay a fine ranging from PHP 2,000 to PHP 10,000. Moreover, truckers also run the risk of having their franchises canceled if the violator is a repeat offender. The bill also adds that there will be a designated overtaking lane for faster-moving trucks as long as it is safe and clear.
In addressing the growing traffic problem we have locally, Congressman Mariño says that it is high time this policy is institutionalized so that it will send a strong message that the government is serious about looking for real traffic solutions.
As regular users of C5 and Katipunan, trucks behave when they are in their designated lanes. Once they come to areas where the truck lanes fade or disappear, then all hell breaks loose. If this bill is passed and becomes law, truck drivers will need to be disciplined and follow their lane. Enforcers must also keep them in check around the clock.