SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
A lawmaker has filed a measure establishing bicycle lanes in all primary and secondary roads in the country.
Rep. Samuel D. Pagdilao, Jr. (Party-list, ACT-CIS) said the proposed "Bicycle Lane Act of 2015" as proposed in House Bill 5810 will ensure the safety of those who are using bicycle as mode of transportation.
Pagdilao said the urgency of establishing a viable solution for road safety will also protect the bicycle-using labor force from injuries and deaths since "they have been rarely given attention primarily because the victims belongs to a marginalized sector that has limited clout to influence government actions."
Citing the 2013 National Labor Force Survey, Pagdilao said 87% or 37.917 million Filipinos choose bicycle as the primary mode of transportation.
"Many of these Filipinos are construction workers, messengers and other low income earners who pedal to work everyday not necessarily to promote a healthy environment but merely to cut the cost of their transportation expenses," said Pagdilao, Vice Chairman of House Committee on Public Order and Safety.
Pagdilao said the number of bicyclists involved in road accidents is already alarming with 6,496 or 37% of the 17,557 killed in road accidents in 2011 all over the country.
"In Metro Manila, 7,464 families of disabled cyclists were plunged deeper into poverty because their breadwinners have been maimed and are no longer capable to work," Pagdilao said.
Under the measure, Local Bikeways Office (LBO) shall be created under the direct administration and supervision of the Local Government Units (LGUs).
The LBO shall manage the construction and maintenance of bikeways within the respective local government unit, establish provision for the safety of cyclists, as well as the pedestrians; establish partnership with local or foreign organization.
The LBO, in consultation with the Department of Transportation and Communication, shall designate bicycle lanes in all primary and secondary roads that shall be for the exclusive use of bicycle riders, which shall be separated by clearly painted and visible bicycle lane markers.
The LBO and other government and non-government agencies shall establish a National Bike Awareness Program, which shall include activities to increase education and awareness of the general public on the proper use of bicycle lanes, bike safety, and observance of traffic rules and regulations.
Cyclists are not exempted from obeying general traffic rules and regulations, unless not applicable to them.
Cyclists shall not carry in their bicycle more persons or cargo other than it is equipped to carry. Safety gears, like helmet, elbow and kneepads, shall be worn at all times.
Violators face a fine of not more than P1,000 and if a violation shall cause injury to persons and damage to property, the provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code shall be applied.