Cebu City Council sets speed limits for motor vehicles

THE Cebu City Council approved on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, an ordinance amending the “half-a-century-old” traffic code that prescribed the speed limits for all motor vehicles within the territorial jurisdiction of the city.

Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the committee on transportation, told SunStar Cebu Friday, Nov. 11, that the existing City Ordinance (CO) 2612 did not contain any repealing clause to effectively abandon the speed restrictions mentioned in CO 801, otherwise known as the Cebu City Traffic Code.

Cuenco explained that personnel of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) are confused about what law will be implemented since CO 2612 and CO 801 have different sets of speed limits.

Now that the ordinance has been amended, the city councilor said the CCTO can now strictly implement speed limits for vehicles plying the roads within the city.

However, Cuenco admitted that full implementation of the speed limit would have to wait until next year since the City Government is still in the process of procuring additional speed guns.

Cuenco said the City Government has included in the 2023 budget the acquisition of at least 20 additional speed guns.

He said the CCTO currently has only one or two speed guns.

Under CO 2612, private motor vehicles should observe a maximum of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) while traversing national primary roads, 70 kph for secondary roads, and 60 kph for tertiary roads, while trucks, buses and tricycles should not exceed 50 kph on these types of roads.

On city roads, cars and motorcycles are allowed to run only up to 40 kph, while trucks, buses and tricycles are limited to 30 kph.

For crowded streets like barangay roads, all types of vehicles can go up only to 20 kph.

In CO 801, which was enacted in 1972, the maximum speed limit is also 80 kph but only on “open country roads, with no blind curves not closely bordered by habitations.”

On city roads, all types of vehicles cannot exceed the maximum speed limit of 30 kph, which is 10 kph slower than the new ordinance.

Under CO 2612, violators will be fined P2,000 and required to undergo four hours of seminars on road safety on their first offense.

On the second offense, the violator will be fined P2,500 plus required to undergo four hours of seminars and three hours of community service.

For the third offense, the apprehended driver will suffer a fine of P3,000 plus the impoundment of the motor vehicle and imprisonment of not less than 30 days, depending on the discretion of the court.

CO 2612 is enacted upon the issuance of a joint memorandum circular from the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Department of the Interior and Local Government that provided the guidelines and standards for the classification of roads, setting speed limits, and collection of road crash data.

Cuenco said the ordinance will now require the CCTO to collect crash data to identify the most common reasons for vehicular accidents and how it can help the city government address them.