SKILL grows from repetition, we suppose, and that’s what we see in the stunning acrobatics of the rural habal-habal, all sorts of extensions sticking out on all sides. Surreal to the foreign eye, but this proves a bit of defiance to fears that adjuncts alter the aerodynamics of motorbikes in action.
This is probably what the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases was imagining when it revved up the idea of requiring motorcycle barriers as anti-virus measure: The barrier will simply grow in the driving; the aerodynamics can be learned.
The Cebu Provincial Board, however, speaks out for those who don’t buy the idea. It had approved a resolution entitled: “Appealing for reconsideration in requiring motorcycles/owners to install the pre-approved design or motorcycle pillion-divider or shield” in its July 27, 2020 session.
“Inasmuch as the genuine intention to promote and maintain strict compliance with strict health protocol is acknowledged, the imposition will pose more problems than help. Considering that no consultation and test runs were made, the efficacy of the device is not assured. There is no scientifically-proven fact that it is safe,” the resolution read.
But there is professional opinion from the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers recently. In a recently released statement, it said: “Our position is based on the science and engineering of how air interacts with the moving bodies, or in the engineering community, we call it fluid dynamics or aerodynamics. Based on our analysis, the barrier may contribute negatively to safety, health, economy and environment.”
The PB, on the other hand, said the installation of the required barrier would be costly, especially for those who have yet to get back on their feet financially amid the pandemic.
The body, instead, suggested the wearing of a full-faced mask, front-covered helmet, jacket, gloves and mask.
The barrier requirement had stirred a lot of reactions from the community. It should be about time the IATF reconsider that policy.