LEISURE biking, jogging and other types of sports exercise are again allowed in Cebu City following the loosening of some quarantine restrictions.
However, officials of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) said they will only allow cycling in pairs, and not in groups, to promote social distancing.
The National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021 announced that from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the cities of Cebu and Mandaue will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) from Sept. 8 to 30.
“Leisure biking is already approved, but it is limited only to two persons,” said Police Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, CCPO deputy director for operations.
Parilla explained that only the buddy system will be allowed to prevent cyclists’ gatherings at the end of their destination if they are permitted to travel in groups.
Police officials called on bikers to always keep calm and avoid causing any type of commotion on the city’s streets.
This after another group of cyclists went viral on social media after challenging a multicab driver to a fistfight along P.J. Burgos St., Barangay Alang-Alang, Mandaue City in the morning of Sept. 5.
The commotion was caught on a CCTV camera and a report was filed at the Traffic Division of the Mandaue City Police Office.
The multicab driver, identified only as “Franz,” said he reported the incident to the police to ensure his safety, but he had no interest in filing a formal case.
But the incident prompted the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) to declare that it will soon fully implement the City’s Bike ordinance penalizing cyclists found violating traffic laws.
This was the second time in just days when a group of cyclists was reported to have shown agression in dealing with other vehicles.
Arnold Malig-on, Team operations head said Team will help identify the group of cyclists that threatened the multicab driver.
He urged cyclists to practice high tolerance in dealing with other vehicles and observe the single-lane policy instead of occupying the entire lane so that other vehicles can also pass.
He said cyclists should follow the right lane, particularly the bike lanes, even though there are no plastic bollards or face penalties.
Malig-on told SunStar Cebu that Team will intensify the apprehension of cyclists found violating Mandaue City’s traffic laws.
It will start by issuing citation tickets that carry a penalty of P100 for each violation, he said.
Under the City’s traffic ordinance, cyclists’ violations include not using bike lanes, not wearing a helmet and reflectorized clothes, and having no lights and reflector on the bike.
Malig-on believes the cyclists were bold in aggressively confronting the multicab driver because they traveled in a group.
Meanwhile, cyclists interviewed by SunStar asked the public to refrain from judging all cyclists for the actions of some erring individuals.
A cyclist, who declined to divulge his name, said while some refuse to follow traffic rules, there are a lot of other cyclists who do.
“There are a lot of cyclists like myself who truly follow road rules. I don’t believe that we are exempted from following them since we are merely sharing the road with motorized vehicles. But it is also unfair to judge us for the faults of others,” the cyclist said in Cebuano.
Mark Cajegas, a cyclist from the City of Naga, southern Cebu, said he has no problem complying with traffic rules such as staying on the bike lane.
But he lamented that some bike lanes in Cebu are often occupied by other vehicles, forcing cyclists to take the main lanes.
“Some bike lanes are even being used as taxi terminals. If you don’t want cyclists to stay in bike lanes, then clear those bike lanes of obstruction,” Cajegas said. (KFD, JKV)