MEMBERS of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group seized nearly 200 banned blinkers sirens and LED lights being used by drivers of both private and public motor vehicles in Metro Manila as the unit officially launched a program to see to it that these unauthorized gadgets won’t be used as a “status symbol of abuse.”
PNP-HPG director Chief Superintendent Arnel B. Escobal stressed that owning a blaring siren, a blinker and other gadgets that emit exceptionally loud or startling sounds and blinding lights is not a crime until a motorist actually starts using it on the road. Its mere possession is not against the law but what is illegal is its use, officials said.
Escobal supervised the operations of the HPG National Capital Region Office headed by Supt. Bernardo Perez and the HPG Special Operations Division-Task Force Limbas headed by Supt. Jonathan Calixto along Quezon Avenue corner West Avenue/Timog Avenue early morning yesterday.
Perez said before 4 p.m., they have already flagged down the drivers of 177 motor vehicles and motorbikes sporting powerful LED lights and blinkers. Two sirens were also confiscated by the PNP-HPG while two motorcycles were impounded at Camp Crame after their driers failed to present their registration papers.
Nineteen of the erring motorists were issued traffic citation tickets for various violations.
The PNP-HPG operatives flagged down the drivers for sporting the banned gadgets. Some of the erring motorists claimed they were using LED lights which emit near-blinding lights, a main concern of the majority of drivers, as they were allowed to use such device by a previous memorandum from the Land Transportation Office.
However, the PNP-HPG said that they were merely enforcing Presidential Decree 96 and going after powerful LED-lights that have replaced the original headlights of those accosted and sirens and similar devices amid complaints from the public.
Under PD 96, 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.