15,000 jaywalkers dodge tickets, community service

AROUND 15,000 jaywalkers have been apprehended by the Anti-Jaywalking Unit of the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) since the start of the campaign beginning Dec. 1 last year.

Donald Estoquio, an inspector at the CTTMO said that most of the violators were concentrated around City Hall and San Pedro square.

For now, however, violators will only have to take an hour-long seminar. The also suspended for the time being the community service aspect of the penalty. The citations will be issued only as soon as the tickets have been printed out by the local government.

The release of citation tickets could be by April, depending on whether the tickets are approved, printed, and distributed to the CTTMO personnel.

At the moment, there are 19 anti-jaywalking personnel from the CTTMO roaming the city’s major streets.

These include the SIR area and NCCC mall along MacArthur highway, J.P. Laurel Avenue and other roads with visible crosswalk markings.

The administration of Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, as a first step to a major overhaul of traffic policies, revived the crackdown on jaywalking at the beginning of her term, as part of her Byaheng Do30 policy campaign.

Byaheng Do30 is a list of 30 projects across various areas that ensure inclusive benefits for all Davaoenos.

However, Duterte said the full implementation of the Traffic Code, which includes jaywalking, may only be done when the necessary facilities, such as repainted sidewalks, are available.

Earlier, the CTTMO for its part is asking the city government for P15 million for the painting of the city’s 36 crucial intersections as part of the traffic signalization maintenance program for 2017.

CTTMO logistics officer Samuel Pagkaliwagan said the system repair is worth P36 million including other components of the project. The same amount was allocated to the department for 2016.

Ordinance No. 778 Series of 1973 or the Jaywalking Law requires violators to undergo a seminar or perform community service as penalty.

Amended in 1992, the jaywalking ordinance became controversial during its initial implementation in the city’s bid to force pedestrians to use pedestrian lanes in crossing the streets.

Apprehended violators were brought to holding areas where they were given lectures after being booked for violation.

However, the campaign did not last long after a lawyer apprehended for the jaywalking went to the Commission on Human Rights to stop the drive.

Former mayor Rodrigo Duterte later decriminalized the ordinance to avoid Davao City being branded as a “city of ex-convicts.”

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