As of April 15, 2016, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reinstated its No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy. The scheme was first implemented as a six-month experiment in 2009 under the agency’s former chief, Bayani Fernando. It didn’t work then because violators were reportedly required to settle their fine first before they could contest their violation.
With the new guidelines that will allow apprehended motorists to contest their violations, among other things, the MMDA has seen fit to introduce the program once again throughout Metro Manila.
So, how will the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy work? Does this mean we won’t be seeing MMDA traffic enforcers on the road anymore? How will we know if we committed a traffic violation if we won’t be apprehended? This edition of the FHM Explainer answers all that and more.
What exactly is the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy?
The policy works with the MMDA utilizing its extensive network of CCTV cameras and other video and image capture devices to, well, capture videos and images of vehicles in the act of committing a traffic violation.
What is the coverage of the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy?
The policy practically covers parts of Metro Manila that the MMDA already has CCTV cameras in. Currently, the agency already has 450 high-definition cameras in place and it reportedly plans to install 160 units more around the metro.
With the policy’s implementation, does this mean we won’t see MMDA traffic enforcers on the road anymore?
The policy was never intended to replace the agency’s traffic enforcers. Instead, it’s meant to assist them in their duties. The traffic enforcers will still be used in areas where the MMDA’s CCTV cameras have no coverage. In addition, while the cameras are designed to primarily catch moving violations, like driving against traffic (or counterflowing, as it’s known locally), MMDA traffic enforcers can still apprehend violators, of both the moving and administrative kind, like colorum vehicles.
If we’re caught committing a violation by one of the CCTV cameras, how will the MMDA know where to reach us?
Since your vehicle’s plate number and/or conduction sticker number has been captured on photo and video for posterity’s sake, the MMDA will coordinate with the Land Transportation Office to obtain your vehicle’s records which contain vital information like your name and address.
What if we have sold the car to a new owner who has yet to process the vehicle’s transfer of registration, will we be penalized for a violation that we didn’t commit?
It’s the responsibility of the new owner to have the vehicle registered under his or her name transferred to its new owner. However, if that wasn’t accomplished and the vehicle’s registration remains in the name of the previous owner who will then, understandably, receive the notice of the violation, the previous owner may file a protest at the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division at the agency’s main office in Guadalupe, Makati City and submit a notarized Deed of Sale as evidence and the name and current address of the current owner.
How will the MMDA send the notice to the violators?
The notice—which contains the date, time, location, and traffic violation along with a photo of the vehicle committing the violation—will supposedly be sent through “personal service by MMDA Personnel, registered mail or courier services through government or private service providers.”
What if we refuse to accept the notice?
If a violator refuses to accept the notice for no valid reason, it (the notice) shall be deemed as having been accepted by having the MMDA personnel leave a copy of the notice and submit an affidavit of service “attesting the refusal of the violator to acknowledge receipt of the notice.”
What’s the time frame for the violator to settle the violation?
If the violator chooses not to contest the violation, the payment of the fine and other penalties must be made within seven days of the receipt of the first notice at either the MMDA main office or at any Metrobank branch.
What if we want to contest the violation?
If the driver chooses to contest the violation, a protest must be filed at the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division within seven days from the receipt of the notice. Within 15 days from the receipt of the Traffic Adjudication Division’s resolution, the violator may file a Motion for Reconsideration, and within 30 days from the receipt of the denial of the motion, the violator may file an appeal at the office of the agency chairman whose decision “shall be final and executory.”
If the fines and penalties are adjudicated by the TAD, these shall be paid at the Collection Division of the MMDA Central Office.
If the violator doesn’t file a protest within the seven-day prescriptive period and the fines remain unpaid, a Final Notice to settle the violation will be issued the MMDA.
What if we don’t want to pay the fine at all?
If the violator refuses to pay the fine after receiving the final notice, the vehicle’s plate number shall be put in the Alarm list and will be reported to the LTO so that its registration will not be renewed unless the fines and penalties have been settled completely.
There you have it. So if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with government red tape while processing your vehicle’s registration annually, drive safely and carefully out there. Or just pay the fine outright if you know that you actually made a mistake.
Image via the MMDA Facebook page