House Bill Mandating 1.5-Meter Overtaking Distance Between Motor Vehicle, Cyclist Approved

Road Bicycle

The House of Representatives unanimously approved, with 178 votes, on its third and final reading House Bill 8911, or the 'Minimum Overtaking of Cyclists Distance Act' which mandates a minimum overtaking distance of 1.5 meters between a motor vehicle and a bicycle.

Principally authored by Rep. Antonio Tinio (Party-list, ACT Teacher) and Committee on Transportation Chairman Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), the Act provides that the driver of a motor vehicle that's overtaking and passing a bicycle that is traveling in the same direction shall maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its cyclist.

Violators of the Act shall be meted the following penalties: PHP5,000 fine for the first offense; PHP10,000 fine for the second offense; PHP15,000 fine and suspension of the driver's license for three months for the third offense; and PHP20,000 fine and revocation of the driver’s license for the fourth offense.

The Act also allows the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to raise the fines once every five years in the amount not exceeding 10 percent of the existing rates sought to be increased which shall take effect only upon publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

The bill mandates the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police (PNP), local government units (LGUs) and other concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to be responsible for the enforcement of the foregoing provisions and shall render such assistance as may be required by the DOTr-LTO, the lead agency, to effectively implement the provisions of the Act.

According to Rep. Tinio, mandating a minimum overtaking distance is one way of protecting cyclists and other road users, and encourage more people to take up cycling, whether for commuting, exercise, or leisure.

"According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, more than 900 persons--nearly three cyclists and other road users per day--were reported to have been involved in accidents in Metro Manila in 2015," shared the solon.

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