CALOOCAN CITY, Oct. 4 (PIA) – The Quezon City government will provide free helmets to bicycle riders who cannot afford to buy the safety gear to help them comply with legislation meant to ensure their safety.
“The city government will help those who are too financially burdened to comply with the recently passed Ordinance,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
“Gagawin natin ito upang matulungan ang mga nagbibisikleta na hindi kayang bumili ng helmet upang hindi masakripisyo ang kanilang kaligtasan,” she added.
Belmonte recently approved Ordinance No. SP-2942 requiring bicycle riders to wear a helmet while traversing through Quezon City streets.
The Ordinance imposes fines of P1,000, P3,000 and P5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively, for those who will be caught not wearing a helmet. However, the city council agreed to lower the fines following appeals by advocacy groups to consider today’s difficult economic circumstances.
Belmonte allayed fears of bicycle riders, clarifying that the city government will give them ample time to comply before fully enforcing the measure.
“While waiting for the final approval of the implementing rules and regulations, bicycle riders will just receive a reminder on the proper wearing of helmet,” Belmonte said.
The Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), headed by retired Gen. Elmo San Diego, has started reminding bicycle riders about the Ordinance and handing free helmets in strategic areas in Quezon City.
The DPOS distributed 100 helmets on Thursday and 120 helmets yesterday as part of the initial 2,000 helmets to be given away for free to those who cannot afford it.
Belmonte reiterated that the Ordinance aims to make bicycle riding a safe mode of transportation as the city slowly shifts to the new normal amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
A network of interconnected bike lanes of international standards will soon be rolled out throughout the city and in preparation for this, city councilors are crafting the Safe Cycling and Active Transport Ordinance of Quezon City.
“We need to err on the side of caution. Huwag nating isugal ng ating mga buhay. Mabuti nang masiguro na ligtas ang ating paglalakbay,” Belmonte said. (QC PAISD/PIA-NCR)