I-ACT collars over 10 buses for violating social distancing rule
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) Team Barracuda, the task force responsible for ensuring that public transportation in the Metro comply with the government’s one-meter distancing rule for passengers, announced yesterday, September 21, that it has issued violation tickets to more than 10 buses plying the EDSA Busway for their failure to adhere to this rule.
In the morning alone, the task force cited up to seventeen traffic violations in the area of Balintawak - EDSA Busway with the breakdown as follows:
- Failure to follow social distancing guidelines by overloading passengers – 11
- Failure to wear the prescribed seatbelt device – 2
- Hitching – 2
- Disregarding traffic signs – 1
- Anti-Distracted Driving Act – 1
Aside from the observance of social distancing, the special I-Act task force also monitors the mandatory use of face masks and face shields of all passengers—including the driver and their conductor. Temperature checks, trip manifests for contact tracing, and sanitation is also overseen by the group.
All these safety, social distancing, and sanitation measures are part of the government’s effort to ensure Public Utility Buses (PUBs) stringently implement COVID-19 containment protocols per LTFRB MC 2020-17, 2020-31, and 2020-33 aboard their units for the safety of commuters.
Last week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that it will reduce the physical distancing protocols on public utility buses and other modes of transport from 1 to .75 meters.
However, the government retracted the proposal just a few days later.
The retraction means that the one-meter social distancing rule remains in place for all public utility vehicles (PUVs).
“Balik one-meter muna tayo sa physical distancing sa pampublikong transportasyon habang wala pang desisyon ang presidente kung ito nga po ay pwedeng maibaba sa 0.75,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a press conference.
Photo/s from I-ACT Facebook page