Fines against ‘colorums’ Ok, says SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the order issued by Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Office imposing higher fines against operators of “colorum” vehicles and erring drivers is constitutional.

Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez — in a 69-page decision — said that the imposition of higher fines against erring motorists and operators of public utility vehicles LTO Department Order 2008-39 and its amended version Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 are necessary to promote public safety and welfare.

“To aggravate the already pernicious nature of the roads is the proliferation of colorum vehicles. As their continued conduct absent requisite authority immeasurably endanger the lives of the riding public, it is necessary for the State, pursuant to its police power devolving unto the DOTC and its agencies, to place reasonable restrictions in the form of higher fees and stricter penalties upon the operation of motor vehicles,” said the Supreme Court.

To recall, LTO Department order 2008-39 which came into effect in March 2009 imposes a penalty of P5,000 on drunk drivers and P10,000 on drivers under the influence of drugs.

Also, it imposed fines of P1,500 for driving without a license; P400 for driving with an expired license; P2,000 for possessing a fake driver’s license; P3,000 for conviction for a crime perpetrated with the use of a motor vehicle; and P6,000 for driving a public utility vehicle out of line.

On 2 June 2014, D.O 2008-39 was superseded by Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 or the Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violations of Laws, Rules and Regulations Governing Land Transportation” issued by the LTO and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

It imposes a fine of P50,000 on public utility jeepneys plying the routes without franchise; P6,000 for motorcycles; P120,000 for sedans; P200,000 for vans; and up to P1 million for buses.

The operators’ certificate of public convenience and registration will also be revoked and their vehicles will be impounded for three months.

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