MANILA – As a fundamental safety gear, helmets are now required to be worn by bicycle riders while traversing roads in Quezon City.
This after Mayor Joy Belmonte approved Ordinance No. SP-2942 introduced by Councilors Maria Diorella Sotto, Kaye Galang-Coseteng and Candy Medina.
“Ngayong bahagi na ng new normal ang pagbibisikleta, nais nating gawing mas ligtas ang aktibidad na ito para sa mga dumadaan sa ating lungsod (Now that bicycle use has become part of the new normal, we want this activity to be safe in the city),” Belmonte said.
“Makatutulong ang pagsusuot ng helmet upang maging maayos ang ating pagbiyahe at para ligtas tayong makarating sa ating pupuntahan (Using a helmet will help us become safer in our trips),” she added.
While the wearing of helmets when biking is already mandatory under the Road Safety Ordinance, the city council said it saw the need for another policy to further encourage the helmets as protection, with more people now traveling by bicycles.
The ordinance sets penalties to those not wearing helmets while passing through Quezon City streets, imposing fines of PHP1,000, PHP3,000 and PHP5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively.
The city’s Department of Public Order and Safety is assigned as the lead agency to strictly enforce the ordinance.
Belmonte recently initiated a bike lane project, a short-term initiative that aims to provide a safe place for people who have shifted to biking as an alternative means of transportation amid the community quarantine.
The first phase of the bike lane project includes the improvement and repair of existing bike lanes and placement of temporary and semi-permanent traffic separation devices.
New bike lane routes have also been identified to improve route connectivity while route signages and bike parking areas will also be included in the network.
As part of her long-term program, Belmonte said the city government plans to put up permanent bike lanes that will be integrated with the planned bus system routes and pedestrian network.
During her time as vice mayor and presiding officer of the city council, Belmonte pushed for the approval of SP-2636 or the Road Safety Code of Quezon City in 2017 to ensure the safety of all road users, including bicycle riders. (PR)