LTO resumes crackdowns

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

THE LTO is at it again. This time they are on a mission to crack down on LED lights installed in cars and motorcycles. I do not have any LED light-bars on my car nor do I plan to install one. However I am completely against the crackdown because the implementing rule and order are stupid.

LED light bars per se are not road safety hazards. It is the improper use thereof that is makes it a hazard. Some of these light bars are what you call drive lights, designed to give a better field of lighting on the road, and to use them properly, these must be mounted low and must be focused on the road, so when turned on, these will not blind oncoming vehicles. There are also light bars that light up so bright to give the driver a clearer vision of his entire surroundings. This type of light bar is for use when one is off-roading at night or in a completely unlit road.

I have some friends who are off-roaders or have farms and they have these light-bars mounted on the cars. However, they use the light bars properly, and only when they are needed. They never turn these on normal roads so as to not inconvenience other motorists.

NEW KIA K7 SEDAN. Models pose with Kia Motor’s new K7 sedan during an unveiling ceremony in Seoul, South Korea. The sedan, which was launched last month, is equipped with a 2.4-liter or 3.3-liter gasoline engine. (AP PHOTO)
NEW KIA K7 SEDAN. Models pose with Kia Motor’s new K7 sedan during an unveiling ceremony in Seoul, South Korea. The sedan, which was launched last month, is equipped with a 2.4-liter or 3.3-liter gasoline engine. (AP PHOTO)

However, there are also people who turn on these blinding lights wherever they go. This is an improper use of such devices. These people are ignorant, are idiots, or both. It is these few super idiots that drew the ire of the LTO, so that now we have this crackdown.

It is wrong to ban and have these devices removed. They should apprehend the improper use of such a device instead of banning them altogether, as the device has important legitimate uses, too. A heavy fine must be slapped on the improper use of such lights.

In the meantime, while the crackdown on LED lights is going on, there are a lot of jeepneys running at night with their lights turned of, motorcycles at night without any lights and at the same time counter-flowing, but never mind that, having an LED light bar, even if turned off is more dangerous (or profitable for the enforcers).

The logic of the LTO is like this: since the LED light bar if improperly used can cause vehicular accidents, might as well ban it. Well, I have news for the LTO, any car component that is improperly used can cause vehicular accidents. Even the OEM standard headlight at low beam can be blinding if improperly mounted and/or adjusted.

There is a fad now among some misguided car guys known as Ricers, wherein they stretch their tires. Meaning, they install the wrong size of tires for the rims they have, usually two sizes narrower than what is required.

The Ricers think it makes the car look cool. The car automatically becomes a road hazard as this type of tire installation can cause tire blowouts or rapid deflation of the tires, especially at high speed. It is more of a hazard that LED lights. If we follow the logic of the LTO, then tires on cars should be banned because it can be misused and abused.

Our Department of Transportation and Communications is so screwed up that everything they do seems like an attempt to mislead the public that they are doing their job to protect the public, when they really are not. They do not allow dilapidated taxis (correct and proper) yet they allow dilapidated jeepneys, which actually transports the majority of our riding public, the masa.

They were up in arms against Uber, until they struck a deal with them. It was the contention of the LTFRB that it may be a danger to the riding public to share a ride with in a relatively new car with a driver screened by Uber and whose driver ratings can be seen online, yet there are a lot of motorcycle taxis a.k.a habal-habals all over the city that carry two or three passengers, and the LTO and LTFRB just look the other way.

I get the feeling that road safety is not the reason for the DOTC, LTO and LTFRB in coming up with rules and guidelines. Rather, it’s how much they can make from these crackdowns.

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