Sanggunian Okays amnesty for unpaid traffic violations

The Baguio City Council has approved on third and final reading an ordinance seeking to reduce the fines for all unpaid traffic violations committed on or before December 31, 2020.

The ordinance shall provide an opportunity for erring motorists to pay their outstanding fines and subsequently claim their confiscated vehicle registration plates.

In a letter dated August 23, 2021, the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) stated that a total of 2,166 registration plates of vehicles and motorcycles are still unclaimed at the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) of the BCPO.

These license plates were seized during the operations of the BCPO together with the traffic aides of the City Engineering Office-Traffic and Transport Management Division (CEO-TTMD), the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD), and the barangay officials for the implementation of Ordinance 07-1984 (Comprehensive Transportation and Traffic Regulations for the City of Baguio) and Administrative Order 116-2016 or the Operation Anti-Road Obstruction.

Of the number, 1,956 were confiscated by the BCPO while 201 were confiscated by barangay officials.

774 traffic violations committed before December 31, 2020, are still unpaid. Among these traffic violations were non-observance of traffic rules, obstruction, and illegal parking. The total amount of these unpaid violations is P332,000.00.

In addition to these 2,166 vehicles with their license plates confiscated, 22 vehicles using yellow plates (public utility vehicles) and four red plates (used by government offices) were also apprehended.

The ordinance shall cover traffic citation tickets (TCTs) issued to motorists on or before December 31, 2020, for having violated the traffic and transportation ordinances of the city.

All fines, as stated in the ordinance, shall be reduced to P200.00, regardless of the violation.

Traffic violators covered by the ordinance may redeem their confiscated driver’s license card or registration plate upon paying their reduced fines within a period of three months.

According to the ordinance, license plates not redeemed within the three-month period shall be forwarded to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for proper action and disposal.

Earlier, the city government and the Land Transportation Office-Cordillera Administrative Region (LTO-CAR) forged an agreement for the proper disposal of unclaimed registration plates of motor vehicles confiscated by police officers, deputized Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) personnel, and barangay officials.

LTO-CAR regional director Francis Ray Almora stated that the said agreement is part of the overall efforts of the agency to strictly implement the policy on the no-detachment of license plates attached to vehicles as a license plate is considered the private property of the owner and that it is also classified as permanently attached to the vehicle where it rightfully belongs. –Jordan G. Habbiling with reports from P/MAJ Cabatan