The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently allowed riding pillion after almost four months, but the new backriding requirements have resulted in accidents.
As the Philippine government gradually eases lockdown restrictions, the DILG mandated regular motorcycle riders and their pillion who live in the same household to put barriers as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 transmission.
The Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) has received photos of six motorcycle-related accidents forwarded to them linked to DILG’s directive.
A rider by the name of Dla Cruz narrated on social media their accident in Cubao, Quezon City, pointing out that it was a costly expense that has been wasted as the barriers are dangerous and unusable. “Yung barrier na basagbasag hindi po sya safe. Please lang wag na po sana mag barrier,” he said.
“Again, bumili ako dahil sumusunod kami sa gusto nyo pero sana makarating ito sa inyo hindi po kami mamamatay sa semplang pero yung mga basag na piraso na muntik ng sumaksak samin pareho ang ikakamatay namin kung sakali,” the rider added.
Another incident involved a couple riding along the Shaw Boulevard flyover. According to eyewitness accounts, a sudden gust of wind blew. The shield acted like a sail, caught the wind, and threw the riders off their balance. The rider lost control of the motorcycle as a result.
MRO urged the government to hear the opinion of experts and professionals in the motorcycle industry before enacting protocols that would affect the lives of motorcycle riders. Experts in the field of motorcycle safety have already pointed out that the shield is both unsafe and an unnecessary expense.
Moreover, fabricators who are familiar with the material also pointed out acrylic glass’ brittle nature, as it may shatter and impale the rider and his pillion in the event of a crash.