In the know: How to properly settle or contest traffic violations in the Philippines

EDSA

Contrary to the smooth stories you used to hear from your titos, it’s wrong and against the law to bribe or intimidate an apprehending traffic enforcer. While keeping a discreetly folded P500 bill in your driver’s license card holder can definitely help you in times of emergencies (like when you run out of gas money), it’s not correct to assume that it can help you fix your way out of a ticket. Likewise, it’s not your distant uncle or auntie’s responsibility to bail you out of breaking a traffic law just because they’re a member of the force.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Where can one settle fines for traffic violations?

    It can be settled at the nearest LTO office, select Bayad Centers, or at MMDA's main office.
  • Can one contest a violation?

    Yes, it can be contested by writing a letter and directing it to MMDA's Traffic Adjudication Board.
  • mmda

    That said, let's take a look at how you can properly settle or contest a traffic violation here in the Philippines.

    Apprehension

    According to MMDA’s “General Procedure for Traffic Officers When Apprehending a Traffic Violator,” a traffic enforcer shall wear proper and complete uniform and carry his mission order at all times.

    When apprehended by an MMDA officer, a driver can feely ask for the officer’s mission order which contains the officer’s area of responsibility, official function, and time of duty. The apprehended motorist must be led to the roadside where it will not obstruct the flow of traffic and apprehension should be done in an open area, visible to the public.

    Per the handbook, officers are instructed to “greet with respect the violator and introduce his/her name and authority,” and “courteously inform the driver of his/her violation.” On that note, avoid raising your voice or looking down on the officer.

    Depending on the violation, the officer might confiscate your license or just issue you a ticket.

    Contesting a ticket

    Should you feel like you have been wrongly apprehended for a traffic violation, you can contest your ticket to the proper offices.

    Based on MMDA’s rulebook, drivers who have complaints relative to the apprehension can file a motion to contest the violation by writing to the Traffic Adjudication Board. The agency also says that drivers may attach pictures and/or videos — here's where dashcams come in handy — if necessary for proper investigation to support their motion to contest the violation.

    Also, make sure to file the contest letter within five days after your apprehension.

    Furthermore, drivers can also file a complaint about apprehending officers who might have been violating the agency’s apprehension procedures. In this case, drivers are asked to take the name of the officer and note the time and place of his/her assignment.

    Complaints relative to the traffic enforcer’s apprehension manners, per MMDA, can be directed to the Technical Committee on Complaints (TCC).

    Settling your fines

    MMDA says that any violator apprehended by LTO and/or PNP-HPG enforcers may settle their violations in the nearest LTO office covering the area where they were apprehended.

    Violators apprehended by MMDA enforcers may either settle their violations through selected Bayad Center within seven days after they were issued a ticket or pay their fines at the MMDA main office in Guadalupe, Makati City.

    Remember, no one is above the law. Not you, nor the enforcers. Follow Carmudi Philippines for more traffic news and stories.

    Photos from Ruben Manahan and MMDA

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