Traffic obstructions taken out in Bontoc, Sagada; 48 fined

>> Friday, October 7, 2016

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Except for few obstructions such as parking on prohibited sections of the road, the main streets of this capital town and the tourist town of Sagada have been observed to be visibly free of parked vehicles on prohibited sections.
This, through strict implementation of traffic rules by town mayors and police with cooperation of drivers, business establishment owners and residents.
Some 48 violators of traffic rules of Bontoc and Sagada have been penalized last September.
In Sagada, the previous 15 days saw full implementation of the 2016 revised traffic rules since Sept. 12 after  the 10-day test  period Sept 1 to 11 showed  20 traffic law violators.
Of the 20 individuals penalized were eight who violated no parking rules, seven for driving motorcycle without  helmet, three for driving without license and two for not observing traffic signs.
Senior Insp. Domingo Gambican said signs were needed along  the road including no parking and  speed limit signs.
It was noted that some car drivers observed from outside Sagada drive fast along narrow streets of the town. 
The revised traffic code set P500 penalty for  all violations including obstruction and a separate penalty of P1,000 to P5,000 for reckless driving and under the influence of liquor.
Car drivers were directed to park in designated areas at the Mission Compound, in private lots and at  newly paved road along Sitio Nangonogan of Poblacion.
In previous years, roads of the main town starting at Nangonogan to the road section above Sumaguing cave had  been obstructed with parked cars for quite some time everyday resulting to accidents and traffic gridlock especially during weekends and heavy tourist arrivals.
Sagada Mayor James Pooten Jr during a meeting with the municipal tourism council said traffic aides to aid the police shall be deployed during peak tourist days including Lent, post Christmas and Etag Festival first week of February.  
In Bontoc, 28 erring drivers were penalized for violating the  2007 traffic code when it was implemented last month. 
It was noted that prohibited parking was the highest violation with 22 erring drivers topping the list, three for loading/unloading on prohibited areas and one for driving without license as noted by police.
Strict implementation of traffic rules led by Mayor Franklin Odsey and chief of police Richard Soliven showed the once congested Chakchakan section is now free from parked vehicles and tricyles, and double parking prevented along the main road.
One Chakchakan resident said she was happy that the road was free from parking to avoid accidents.
Cars in the main town are now parked at the backside of the town along the Lok-ong section and Riverside at Samoki.
Another  resident commented that vehicular plates of erring drivers should only be ripped off with the issuance of citation tickets. 
Soliven said plate numbers of vehicles carrying ore and lumber without permits are immediately taken.
He said the Land Transportation Office deputizes police officers to enable the latter to remove plate numbers of erring car drivers.
A seminar with the LTO  is being programmed with the local government of Bontoc, Soliven added.
Meantime, it was observed that passenger utility jeepneys are back to the unloading section in front of the government center of Bontoc.
Soliven said this usual practice went back following the complaint of  Sagada-Bontoc  passenger Marcy Piluden commenting on convenience of passengers  of PUJs to unload in front of the government center than at their terminal points. Public institutions including the Mountain Province State Polytechnique College, public market,Capitol and other offices are located near the government center.
Soliven said  the municipal traffic code provides unloading and loading  points should be at the terminal areas of PUJs  although  unloading may be in other sections of the road but not to go beyond15 minutes.


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