MANILA, Sept 22 (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker is strongly pushing for the enactment of a measure that would provide a framework for a bicycle law on a national level so that Filipino commuters may find a cheaper alternative to get to their destination while saving the environment from harmful emissions.
Rep. Mark A. Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City) said House Bill 4912 proposes the creation of a Local Bikeway Office (LBO) that would prepare plans and specifications and manage construction of bikeway projects on all thoroughfares and roads covered by the local government unit (LGU) concerned.
Villar, chairman of the House Committee on Trade and Industry, said the development of the bicycle occurred over a period of around 70 years and yet, throughout that period, cyclists had no legal right to use the roads or walkways.
Villar said one of the first laws related to bicycle use was enacted by the Marikina City Council in 1996, which dwells on the use of all streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks and other public places as bicycle lanes.
Villar said the cities of Davao, Pasig, Makati and Valenzuela followed suit in enacting similar ordinances, owing to the need of growing bike users, and at the same time, promoting its health and pro-environment benefits.
Under the measure to be known as the “Bicycle Act of 2014,” the LBO shall cause the registration of all bicycles on the bikeways and determine the manner of registration.
It shall maintain and keep a bicycle registry where the LBO shall have formulated a system of procedure pertinent to bicycle registration within 60 days from the approval of this Act.
Each city or municipality shall create, through the LBO and the city or municipal engineering office, a bicycle park where provisions for bicycles are present such as but not limited to bikeways, bicycle parking areas and similar infrastructure.
The bicycle parks shall be funded by the city or municipality by allocating 30% of their respective revenues raised from miscellaneous activities like parking and license fees.
The bill also provides that all cyclists shall obey traffic regulations, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, wear the appropriate gear and ensure that their bicycles are equipped with reflective materials visible from both sides.
Further, all cyclists shall remain inside the designated bikeway lane, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or a vehicle proceeding in the same direction. The cyclist shall also yield the right-of-way to all traffic on such roadway when it enters or crosses a roadway.
Every cyclist shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human or animal power, upon any road, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.
Violators will be penalized with a fine of Php 1,000. (MNS)