• Legislator files bill to defer helmet law

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: A Mindanao legislator has filed a bill allowing different local government units (LGUs)in the country to temporarily suspend the mandatory wearing of helmet by motorcycle riders for one year and to give time to study the adverse effects of the helmet law.

    Zamboanga District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat noted the growing of incidents of crime committed by motorcycle riders with helmet riding in tandem in the country and Metro Manila alone reported more than 3,000 incidents.

    In Zamboanga City, 275 shooting incidents were reported since January 2012 and more than half of them were committed by motorcycle riders with helmets. Victims of these perpetrators riding motorcycle in tandem, include well-known and high profile personalities including university president Arturo Eustaquio 3rd. The latest victim of Zamboanga was an owner of a known hotel here.

    Universidad de Zamboanga, the largest private university in the region, installed a giant tarpaulin in its building posting the number of shooting incidents in the City. The private university is just 30 meters away from the city hall.

    Lobregat said criminal elements are taking advantage of the helmet law to conceal their identity and most of the cases of shooting incidents caused by motorcycle riders with helmet remain unresolved.

    “The present helmet law is a national law and temporary suspension can be done in Congress,” Lobregat said.

    However, the new bill will only apply to motorcycle drivers and tricycle drivers are exempted from this proposed law. Lobregat also clarified that the bill if it takes effect applies only to local government units with high incidence of motorcycle-related crimes and when the local peace and orders councils recommend for the suspension of the helmet law.

    LGUs which do not have high rates of motorcycle-related incidents may have the option not apply this proposed law.

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