Restoring road sanity

The number of new two-wheelers sold in the first nine months of 2022 reached 1.45 million, up by 5.1 percent.

Reports that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is putting up a school that will teach beginners and veteran riders alike the proper way of riding a motorcycle is welcome news to the public long waiting for sanity to be restored on the road.

To be called the Metro Manila Motorcycle Riding Academy, the project is aimed at decreasing motorbike-related accidents that have reached alarming proportions over the years.

Per statistics released by the Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System, a total of 26,768 motorcycles figured in road accidents back in 2021.

These figures are expected to rise with the increasing popularity of two-wheeled vehicles as a major transport option for those inconvenienced by daily gridlock in the metropolis.

The number of new two-wheelers sold in the first nine months of 2022 reached 1.45 million, up by 5.1 percent over the same period the previous year. Market estimates projected a robust growth of 2.25 million motorcycles sold by the end of 2022.

The MMDA is hoping the establishment of the riding academy will significantly lower the grim death statistics and make the capital’s roads safer for other road users.

Let’s face it. Riders generally weave in and out of traffic to avoid getting stuck. This is nowhere truer than on busy EDSA which is usually transformed into a virtual parking lot during rush hour.

That’s not all. Roads clear of traffic become speedways for the fast and furious. At night, major thoroughfares are turned into racing venues for those with nothing better to do.

According to reports, the MMDA will soon create a technical working group responsible for coming up with a motorcycle safety training course that will teach riders everything from the basic control and operation of a motorbike to road rules and basic emergency response.

MMDA acting chairman Don Artes said that through the Motorcycle Riding Academy, the MMDA aims to further promote road safety, particularly for motorcyclists who are very much at risk of road mishaps.

“It’ll be a good opportunity for them to refresh and hone their riding skills and to be able to provide first aid to people who will encounter unexpected road accidents,” he said.

Artes said the courses will be free of charge, making it an attractive option for those who live by the tenet of safety first.

And where could those interested avail of the MMDA offer?

Artes said the proposed location of the academy is the vacant property of the Government Service Insurance System on the corner of Julia Vargas and Meralco Avenues in Pasig City. He said the GSIS and the MMDA are due to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement on the utilization of the property.

He said the MMDA is targeting the first quarter of this year for the opening date.

We view this project with open arms. It’s about time to end this madness on the road. Daily news reports on deaths involving two-wheeled vehicles are indeed staggering. They are a stark reminder that we all have a stake in preventing the further loss of lives on the road.

The general public is therefore encouraged to take the course. Beginners especially are advised to enroll in the academy before even venturing to ride their new motorcycles. Veteran riders are also urged to take up the MMDA offer to further bolster their knowledge on road safety and the hazards facing those who wantonly violate safety precautions, like the wearing of helmets and proper riding attire.

Riders would be well reminded that they are not the sole users of the road. They should be considerate enough to share the road with everyone.

Enrolling in the course is a step in the right direction. It could mean the difference between life and death.

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