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Sirens, blinkers should be symbols of authority

  • Written by Alfred P. Dalizon
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 216

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I WOULD like to give credit to the PNP Highway Patrol Group for ensuring that its crackdown against unauthorized users of sirens, blinkers, blinding LED lights and other gadgets attached in motor vehicles would be unrelenting and won’t spare anyone, politicians included.

This should also serve as a warning to all: the PNP-HPG is dead serious here and has been confiscating an average of 36 banned sirens, blinkers and LED lights daily since last October. Apart from the inconvenience of being flagged down by uniformed HPG officers, a violator will find himself being stripped of the banned gadget, issued a traffic citation ticket and pay a corresponding fine.

On Monday, PNP chief, General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa aired full support to PNP-HPG director, Chief Superintendent Arnel Escobal and his men in their ongoing enforcement of the so-called HPG Oplan: Disiplinadong Drivers and instructed the HPG to even go after politicians and law enforcers who would violate Presidential Decree 96.

With the PNP chief’s go-signal, the public can expect the PNP-HPG to go all-out against all violators of PD 96. A lawyer-member of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987, Escobal told me that  there is no law prohibiting the manufacture and sale of sirens, blinkers and other gadgets like LED lights.
    
He said that these gadgets can be purchased in the market. However, the public is unauthorized to attach them to their motor vehicles since PD 96 simply prohibits it.  Escobal told me that he decided to step-up the crackdown against LED lights, sirens and blinkers in October last year amid numerous complaints from the public.
    
Escobal particularly said they are after powerful LED lights that have replaced the original headlights of those accosted as well as sirens and similar devices attached to motor vehicles and even motorcycles. I’m very quite sure that all Filipinos have encountered drivers using these unauthorized gadgets day and night while crawling thru heavy traffic in Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
    
If you’re the one driving a vehicle, you will be forced to give way once you see the flashing blue, red and white’ blinkers of a motorcycle, a car, a pick-up or an SUV behind you. However, you will be caught by surprise once it turns out that the one sporting the blinker or a siren is a private car, an SUV or a 125cc motorcycle.
    
These gadgets have proliferated nationwide over the past few years, the reason why it is very common to see a sedan or a tiny motorcycle sporting powerful LED lights that could temporarily blind or distract other motorists. It’s also the reason why sirens and blinkers are now back on the market.
    
Escobal said they are working very hard to stop the practice. Under PD 96, he explained that only marked vehicles designated for the use of the PNP, Presidential Security Group, Armed Forces, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and hospital ambulances can be fitted with sirens, bells, horns or similar gadgets.
    
As for government officials, only the President, Vice President, Senate President, House Speaker, and Chief Justice are afforded the same privilege.  That means all others are not authorized to use the said gadgets.
    
Let’s help the PNP-HPG apprehend more unauthorized users of these gadgets by reporting violators thru their hotline 744HPG or 7444-474.  Let’s also help catch criminals and other violators of traffic laws and regulations by calling the 24/7 hotline.
    
Last Monday, I was present when Gen. dela Rosa, Escobal and PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Deputy Director General Jojo Mendez witnessed the destruction of some 3,000 banned LED lights, sirens, blinkers and mufflers confiscated by the PNP-HPG since October last year. A backhoe crushed the seized gadgets.
    
I learned that the PNP-HPG had decided to sell the destroyed gadgets to a junkshop, the proceeds of which they will donate to a charitable institution. That’s another noble PNP act. Kudos to the PNP-HPG.