April 22, 2017

A Guide to Motorcycle Laws in the Philippines

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  • Motorcycles have become the most convenient form of personal transport for a lot of people living in the Philippines. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expat or a local: going through traffic is made a lot easier if you have a vehicle with as small of a footprint as a motorcycle.

    Questions about which laws apply to motorcycles, though, have always lingered on the back of everyone’s mind. The Land Transportation Authority (LTO) has come out with a set of rules and regulations for motorcycle use on highways, which many people seem to miss.

    These rules can be found under LTO Administrative Order No. AHS-2008-013. It’s a long read, but here are the most important things you can take away from it:

    1. All motorcycles and scooters being used on ANY HIGHWAY in the Philippines should be registered with the LTO in accordance with Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
    2. If you own a motorcycle and use it, your license plate should be visible and clean so your ride can be identified by everyone.
    3. Motorcycles follow the same speed limits as cars. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s:
      • 80 kph on open country roads with no blind corners
      • 40 kph on “through streets” or roads clear of traffic and without blind corners
      • 30 kph if there’s light traffic and it’s not a through street
      • 20 kph everywhere else
    4. Passengers, often referred to as back riders, are limited to one. Cargo, on the other hand, is limited to saddlebags or luggage carriers approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

    1. Both driver and passenger must wear a DTI-approved (i.e. with an ICC sticker) helmet when riding a motorcycle as per R.A. 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.
    2. For accessories, all motorcycles should have headlights, tail lights, signal lights, brake lights, side mirrors, and a horn. The LTO also allows a maximum of two supplementary white or selective yellow LED/high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps with six bulbs each, directed downward and never towards the left side, and should let you see 10 meters ahead.
      • Any other accessories have to be approved by the LTO and the DTI.
    3. DUI is still illegal for motorcycle riders, along with using a mobile phone or similar gadgets.

    LANE SPLITTING. It’s legal in New South Wales and other parts of Australia, as well as the UK. But not here. 

    1. Lane splitting is prohibited as per this rule.
      • Lane splitting, or lane filtering, is the act of driving in between slow-moving vehicles.
    2. Shoes are the only kind of footwear allowed when riding a motorcycle. This means no slippers, sandals, flip-flops, or even bare feet. Then again, who would want to ride their motorcycle with bare feet?

    TAKEN BEFORE THE LAW. This was taken in 2008, or before the enactment of the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 and R.A. 10666 or the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015.

    1. According to R.A. 10666 or the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015, children are not allowed to ride a motorcycle on public roads with either heavy traffic volume, has a lot of fast-moving vehicles, or where speeds more than 60 kph are allowed unless:
      • The child can comfortably rest his/her feet on the foot peg,
      • The child’s arms can reach around and grasp the waist of the driver,
      • The child has a helmet, or
      • The child is in dire need of medical attention

    As you can see, apart from the obvious and the unique (i.e. no lane splitting and shoes only, please), motorcycles are pretty much treated like cars in the Philippines. This means you have to follow whatever road rules and regulations the LTO has for cars. For a list of fines, visit dotr.gov.ph.

    Got any concerns about the country’s motorcycle rules and regulations? Hit us up in the comments section below. Hopefully, we can pass that on to the LTO. For complete information on the country’s motorcycle laws, including those on customization and the implementing rules and regulations of the pertinent laws, please visit dotr.gov.ph or send them a message on Facebook (@DOTrPH).


    Images grabbed from Paul Lewin on flickr, trevorkloeden.wordpress.com
    Source: Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc., Philippine Daily Inquirer, Official Gazette, The LAWPHiL Project

               
               
    Recent Comments

    Pwede ba mg sakay ng bata na abot ung stepnut tsaka isa pang pasenger.??

    Anonymous
    yesterday

    Do the motor cycle driver wear half face helmet or full face helmet in long distance travel?

    Anonymous
    5 days ago

    Answer me, is a motorcycle without or changed decals is allowed to travel from capiz to manila??

    ★★★★★
    5 days ago

    Answer me, is a motorcycle without or changed decals is allowed to travel from capiz to manila?

    ★★★★★
    5 days ago

    Is this article a joke?

    a week ago

    I have two kids and our only way of transportation is through motorcycle. Unless, we will commute.but, our place to our destination will be two rides. My concern is instead I will be able to save some money, it will be spend to fares!

    Anonymous
    2 weeks ago

    MGA WALANG KWENTANG RULES YAN MGA BAYARAN NAMAN MGA TRAFFIC ENFORCER NYO!!!!!!

    Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Include niyo dito yung no riding in tandem sa may Mandaluyong. Perwisyo eh. Pwede lang mag backride kapag babae, bata (7-10yrs old), saka pag mag-ama daw. Bawal daw ang dalawang lalaki. Pano nalang instances na malalate ka sa trabaho tapos sumabay ka sa katrabaho mo? Asar inang batas yan

    4 weeks ago

    LTO is strict in implementing its own rules and yet they cannot improve its own work that is new plates we already paid in 2015. Until now theyre still not available.

    Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    If you dont allow motorcycle to do lane splitting then make a law that give 1meter wide lane only for motorcycle,and dont allow any car to block that lane.imagine today we have motorcycle lane and the car fitted in that lane,they block during traffick and authority don’t allow you to do lane splitting instead you’re on the back of their car during rain or shine!

    ★★★★★
    a month ago

    If Lane Splitting is not allowed i would rather used my Car and be sheltered in harsh weather, The main reason we use MC or Scooters is to be earlier passing the Turtle slow moving Traffic. How will you do that if Lane Splitting is not allowed you morons…

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If Lane Splitting is notvallowed i would rather used my Car and be sheltered in harsh weather, The main reason we use MC or Scooters is to be earlier passing the Turtle slow moving Traffic. How will you do that if Lane Splitting is not allowed you morons…

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    People asking about minors getting in an accident. Here’s how it goes. Were they driving on a public road? Do they have a student permit at the least? Even if the other party is technically at fault, the fact that your minor is, well, a minor and has no license or permit means that they have no right to drive a motor vehicle in a public road. If they’re on a bicycle or electric scooter, however, they’re technically pedestrians so they can drive on the sidewalk or the rightmost side of the road.

    People asking about bike customization: yes it’s okay to customize your bike granted that your mods don’t put other people in danger (which when you update your vehicle registration is determined by the LTO on a subjective basis), and YOU DON’T ALTER YOUR ENGINE AND CHASSIS NUMBERS. You can make it past the first relatively easily but if you alter your numbers, then that’s a surefire LTO alarm (possible stolen motorcycle).

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    LTO is a pain in the groin as ever. No lane splitting? Theres a reason a bike’s wheels are arranged front and back instead of side by side, and that’s to give
    a narrower profile so that more people can share the road. 20-30 kph? Look, bikes have two wheels and tend to be unstable at lower speeds. One thing not mentioned in the article is the 400cc rule on expressways, which is another dumb rule. Engine size does not determine power, speed, even ride stability. Horsepower does.

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    20kph? That’s just a little over 12mph! I won’t even get out of first gear and not to mention I’ll be more concentrating on balancing the bike at that rediculously slow speed!

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    pwede bang magdala ng baby 1 year old of age sa motorcycle?

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I think i have a right to costumize my xrm motorcycle into shifter because its my personal property.. is it ok?? I want to know the answer please.. :'(

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Riding a 400cc motorcycle and up needs a special/specific drivers license?

    Anonymous
    2 months ago

    What’s the minimum size on side mirror?

    ★★
    3 months ago

    Canopy is also not allowed. This refers to the cheat ones that blows away against strong winds, i guess. I saw a japanese manufacturer that makes canopy for yamaha tri city and nmax which is top quality. Is this allowed? How do we get a permit if ever?

    Anonymous
    6 months ago

    I live in Manila and drive on the major roads every day. As far as I can tell nothing seems to be enforced. Many bikes are on the road with no lights, multicoloured lights, multiple passengers, no mirrors or mirrors tucked in and many riders have no crash helmets and flip flops (Slippers) on. Some even have the crash helmet resting on top of their head because they are smoking. The only thing that I have noticed recently is police randomly setting up checkpoints and pulling over riders to see if they own the bike or are offering a paid ride service (Harbel harbel?)
    I have even fitted a dash cam because so many riders veer all over the road at low speed oblivious to anything behind them. I’m scared one will veer out in front of me as I overtake them and I’ll hit them.

    ★★
    6 months ago

    Sir ask lng po.. pano pag bumili ako ng motor tapos gagawin ko syang cafe racer style.. ano po ang mga kailangan kung gawin para maging street legal ang pag modified ko?

    Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Mga b0b0 naman yang nasa LTO. Kung ano anong batas ang pauso. Kumpara mo sa batas ng ibang bansa, parang mga tanga lang gumawa ng batas dito. Taenang speed limit yan, mas mabilis pa bike ko jan eh. Pagbawal nyo nalang kaya lahat ng may makina. Haha! Pati lane splitting bawal. Muntimang lang eh.

    ★★★★
    7 months ago

    Wjat will be the possible charges and penalties, if a minor got into an accident while driving a borrowed motocycle?

    Anonymous
    8 months ago

    What if my motorcycle is for registration (newly bought vehicle)? Can I still bring it around qc areas? I have my permit to carry receipt, license, and I am wearing full gear. TIA

    Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Lane splitting under defined speed limits is legal in many countries, including the USA. I see it done here in the Philippines all the time.
    The other reason for lane splitting is it cuts down on traffic congestion, motorcycles can move to the front of the cue at stop lights, they can get around slow moving vehicles, they can split lanes in traffic congestion and so on.
    I do not own a car here in the Philippines because of the huge traffic problems in every major city. Instead I ride my scooter or big bike and split lanes when I can. It cuts down on my time, my misery sitting in stalled traffic and makes my ride far better.
    The law needs to be changed to allow lane splitting.
    I have never seen a motorcycle in the provinces pulled over for flip flops, multiple riders, even lack of helmets. The way laws are enforced in the Philippines is not consistent.

    ★★
    10 months ago

    I do agree with the other reviewers that you’re not doing anyone any good at all to recite the Philippine law unless you contrast it with the common practices. I see infants riding on gas tanks all the time. Ok, in my opinion the parent should be whipped, but none-the-less, its a common practice. The article would be much better if it contrasted common occurrences and outlined the real danger.

    11 months ago

    Lacking information and didnt even include motorcycle customization…

    12 months ago

    Who is liable if the minor drive the motorcycle and unfotunately it commits accident?

    Anonymous
    one year ago

    I want to change my motorcycle decals, what is allowed?

    Anonymous
    one year ago

    People ride with flip flops all the time. Many people ride 3 on a bike. Lane splitting is common. All the time in fact. This article is how it should be. Not how it really is.

    one year ago
    What do you think about this article?
    ★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★

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