As part of the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) drive to crack down on traffic violators, jaywalkers will now be the next focus of the agency, as they increase fines and implement stricter penalties for all types of road users. Soon, jaywalkers will have more than fines to worry about.
In an interview on Unang Balita on GMA News, according to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago, the agency is considering imposing ‘hits’ or marks on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) records of those who get apprehended crossing the street illegally. Having a ‘hit’ on your NBI records requires you to take extra steps and processes to get it cleared, and companies require clear NBI records, making them a major requirement for job applications.
At the moment, apprehended jaywalkers are ticketed P500 or made to render community service. We agree that P500 is way too low to deter people from crossing the street illegally, and we’d definitely like to see it go up to P2,000 per violation. Pialago also noted that 54% of road accidents in Metro Manila are caused by jaywalkers, and at least a hundred people die each year.
Pialago also noted that the P500 fine wasn’t enough and that the proposed ‘hits’ on NBI records will still be discussed and proposed with the Metro Manila Council for possible approval. Could this be enough to keep people in the proper pedestrian lanes and pedestrian overpasses? The threat of getting hit by a vehicle seems like a pretty good deterrent to us, but it seems that the added mark on some records might be more important to some people than we think.
Let’s hope the MMDA continues pushing for consistent enforcement and higher fines to help maintain order on our hectic roads. This is a push in the right direction, and getting people to ace their self-discipline is more than half the battle.