LTFRB limits PUB drivers’ daily driving hours to six
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) wants to further assure the safety of both passengers and drivers by limiting driving hours for public utility bus (PUB) drivers.
Citing driver fatigue as one of the more serious problems for road mishaps, LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular No. 2017-012 last Friday, April 7. The memorandum sets a limit for PUB drivers to drive for only six hours a day.
“During our hearings, we have a lot of vehicular accidents where drivers are either having an attack, blood pressure is up or they don’t have any sleep,” said LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada in an interview with ABS-CBN.
The same memo also directs PUB operators to have an alternate driver on standby, ready to take over for the driver once he/she goes beyond six hours. Bus conductors, on the other hand, cannot be assigned as alternate drivers so they can keep on assisting passengers with their concerns.
Operators who fail to comply will be assessed the following penalties: P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 and a thirty-day suspension for the second offense, and a 60-day suspension for the third offense.
In case any bus gets into an accident, the LTFRB can cite driver fatigue as an aggravating circumstance and impose even stiffer penalties.
PACKED STATION. The normal scene at the Araneta Center Bus Station in Cubao during holidays. Image taken by joshr0ckx
The LTFRB has also approved 1,153 special permits to help out the 8,000 franchised buses going in and out of Metro Manila during Holy Week (April 9 – 17). The agency has also reminded legitimate UV Express operators not to “pack their passengers like sardines” so they can be more comfortable.
They are also looking to intensify their “anti-colorum” program during Holy Week. Lizada, in an interview with local radio station DZBB, also asked the public to not patronize colorum vehicles to ensure their safety.