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Making Roads Unsafe: Stupidity from the MMDA June 27, 2007

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law.
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alice_dodo_bird.jpgIt looks like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and its Chairman, Bayani Fernando, now want to join in our national leaders’ pastime of creating unbelievably stupid laws and regulations.

As reported by GMANews.TV and Sunstar, the MMDA wants to impose impractical and dangerous new rules on motorcycle owners and riders:

Under the “Dual Motorcycle and Helmet License Plate Numbers Policy,” the license plate numbers on the helmet should be on a water-proof sticker permanently placed on both sides of the headgear and should be large enough to be seen by the public

. . .

The resolution adopted MMDA Resolution No. 07-07 passed in February implementing the “No Face Shield” policy for back riders of motorcycles plying main roads and secondary streets.

Let’s see what these rules will mean to the motorcycle-riding public.

First, it seems that Fernando has forgotten that full-face helmets are much safer for riders — whether they be passengers or drivers. A study in the January 2003 issue of “Annals of Emergency Medicine” found that motorcyclists with facial injuries are 3.5 times more likely to have a brain injury. Those that receive facial fractures are 6.5 times more likely to have brain injuries than those without any facial damage.

Helmets with face shields, while not as good as full face helmets, can also provide some protection against insects and other flying objects. That’s important when riding at high speed.

The bottom line: a full face helmet covers the face and can prevent facial damage, while a face shield also provides a bit of protection. The new MMDA rules, however, would deny motorcycle passengers a chance to use better protection since they require that a passenger’s face be exposed.

Has Fernando ever wondered what it would be like to hit one’s chin on the ground in a motorcycle accident? Has he ever been hit in the face by a flying insect at 60 kph? Perhaps he should try these and see how they can “improve” his looks.

There’s more to consider. What if a person has two or more motorcycles? Will two sets of numbers large enough to be seen at a distance fit on both sides of a single helmet? Or does Fernando expect riders to buy more helmets and have one helmet assigned to each motorcycle?

What if one sells a motorcycle and purchases another one? How will a “permanently placed” sticker be removed without damaging the helmet? Does he realize how expensive a properly-certified helmet can be?

This resolution obviously suffers from a near-total lack of rational thinking and appreciation of real-life evidence. One wonders if Fernando and the ignoramuses in the MMDA even know anything at all about motorcycle safety.

Fernando should take his mindless resolution and stuff it up his rear end. It would probably do more good that way.

Helmet safety studies and articles:

NHTSA Helmet Safety Study

Motorcycle Helmet Performance: Blowing the Lid Off

Update 1 to this post:

No need for plate numbers on helmets, says PNP-TMG
June 28, 2007 – Updated 22:24:15 (Mla time)
Alcuin Papa, Inquirer
http://services.inquirer.net/express/07/06/29/html_output/xmlhtml/20070628-73786-xml.html

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday there was no need for motorcycle riders to wear the license plate numbers of their vehicles on their helmets.

Chief Superintendent Errol Pan, the PNP Traffic Management Group (TMG) director and a motorcycle rider, said the new regulation being studied by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) would not make catching motorcycle-riding criminals any easier.

Hey MMDA, are you listening?

Update 2

Protest Sticker Against MMDA Helmet Rules.

Download this file (JPEG format), print it out, and affix to your bike. If you put it on your helmet, use some temporary means only (like scotch tape).

Protest Against MMDA Sticker

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Comments»

1. Manny - June 28, 2007

A good friend of mine picked up on this issue and wrote the following article:

As If We Didn’t Have Enough Problems…
http://dyanibee.multiply.com/journal/item/5

A good, funny, and sensible read!

2. Manny - June 28, 2007

Here is another blog post on the same subject:

Fight for the Right to Live Free and Ride:
The Jester-in-Exile Assails MMDA Resolution No. 07-07
http://jester-in-exile.blogspot.com/2007/06/fight-for-right-to-live-free-and-ride.html

3. Manny - June 29, 2007

Below is the text of a “Letter to the Editor” that I posted on the website of Sun Star. I hope it gets printed.

I am writing to comment on the impending imposition of MMDA Resolution No. 07-07 which contains the “No Face Shield” policy for back riders of motorcycles on Manila’s streets.

It seems that MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando has forgotten that full-face helmets and face shields are safety devices for riders — whether they be passengers or drivers — and not designed for concealment.

A study in the January 2003 issue of “Annals of Emergency Medicine” found that motorcyclists that incur facial injuries in an accident are 3.5 times more likely to have a brain injury. Those that receive facial fractures are 6.5 times more likely to have brain injuries than those without any facial damage. Full-face helmets, which also conceal the face, can prevent such injuries.

Helmets with face shields, while not as good as full-face helmets, still provide protection against glare, insects, debris, and other flying objects. Without such protection, motorcycle passengers can be directly injured by a flying object. Unprotected riders can also react violently to objects hitting them in the face. Such a reaction can cause them to fall off or set the motorcycle off balance, endangering both riders.

The bottom line: a full face helmet covers the face and can prevent facial damage, while a face shield also provides added protection. The new MMDA rules, however, would deny motorcycle passengers a chance to use better protection since they require that a passenger’s face be exposed.

Has Fernando ever wondered what it would be like to hit one’s chin on the ground in a motorcycle accident? Has he ever been hit in the face by a rock at 50kph? Perhaps he should try these and see how they can “improve” his looks.

The new MMDA rule is not only stupid, it is downright dangerous. Resolution 07-07 should be scrapped immediately. If otherwise imposed, Fernando and its enforcers will be endangering the riding public and should be charged accordingly.

4. jonbaq - June 29, 2007

There are several millions of motorcycle riders and owners in the Philippines, these people would easily becomes suspected criminals if none would comply with the MMDA resolution, ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES!!! I’m glad my mother don’ t know how to use my motorbike!

5. dimaks - June 30, 2007

as ive commented in other related blogs about this issue, it looks to me that this resolution came out of a lottery of several other knee-jerk propositions and i am wondering what is coming next. These guys should feel the hard punch of opposition from the affected community in the real sense.


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