Improvised motorcycle barriers must meet standards

Wenilyn Sabalo, Kate F. Denolang
·2 min read

MOTORCYCLE riders may make their own barriers as long as these comply with the specifications of the approved prototypes that were developed by the Provincial Government of Bohol and ride-hailing company Angkas.

Michael Braga, Department of the Interior and Local Government Central Visayas (DILG 7) information officer, said the DILG has not recommended any manufacturer.

“The only instruction was that the barrier must meet the standards set by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease),” he said in an online message Friday, July 17, 2020.

Backriding has been allowed since July 10 for married couples, live-in partners, and common law partners who live in the same house in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, provided that a barrier is installed between the driver and passenger.

The riders must also present valid identification cards that show they live under one roof.

Currently, this is applicable to all areas in the region, except in Cebu City which is still under modified enhanced community quarantine until July 31.

In Mandaue City, the police and traffic enforcers will implement the back riding guidelines next week.

PCol. Jonathan Abella, MCPO chief, said they have been informing motorcycle riders of the guidelines since July 10. No riders were reprimanded during this information dissemination stage.

Arnold Malig-on, Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) operations chief, told SunStar Cebu that motorcycle riders have been given enough time to install the barriers.

A machine shop in Barangay Canduman, Mandaue City sells and installs motorcycle barriers based on the designs approved by IATF.

But like the DILG, the MCPO and Team said they were not recommending any supplier.

The prototype developed by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap consists of a steel frame soldered onto the middle part of a motorcycle with plexiglass or plastic attached to maintain physical distancing between the driver and his passenger.

The height of the barrier may vary depending on the type of motorcycle.

The Angkas design, meanwhile, requires the driver to wear the barrier like a backpack.

The barrier, which weighs a kilo, uses plastic materials to make disinfection easy and ensure road safety.

Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca had said that the barrier is rigid at low forces and flexible upon impact in the case of an accident.

The lower third of the shield is tapered to accommodate the passenger’s legs. Passenger grips are located at the base of the spine to minimize accidental counter-steering and allow passengers to rest their arms on their thighs while holding on.

Aside from the barrier, motorcycle riders must present valid identification cards to prove that they are married to each other or are living together.

They must also observe other safety measures such as donning of appropriate helmets, wearing of face masks, and other relevant personal protective equipment.