Huge number of ‘colorum’ vehicles, unlicensed drivers alarms LTO-1

DAGUPAN CITY — Unregistered or “colorum” vehicles, drivers without license and traffic violations can be hazardous to both drivers and passengers as they make the streets more dangerous, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region 1 (Ilocos Region).

LTO-1 Regional Director Teofilo Guadiz III, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday, said, “Unregistered vehicles or drivers (unlicensed) or have not renewed driver’s license; these violations are walking disasters on the street. Since every registered vehicle has insurance or the third party liability. If they have not registered their vehicle and got involved in an accident, where will they charge the expenses? We also have no way to check if the vehicle is road worthy”.

He added, “Or if you are not registered as a driver, how will we know that you are still equipped to drive?”

Guadiz noted that a total of 87 traffic violators were caught in the joint special operation of the LTO-1, Dagupan City Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) and Dagupan City Police Station (DCPS) here on Wednesday alone.

He said the number of violators caught in just a day is alarming considering that some of the drivers have two to three violations.

“It is unusual that motorists are unregistered and they think they can get away with it,” he said.

Targets of the special operation are public utility vehicles, since possible accidents have higher impact on them because of the number of passengers they carry, said Guadiz.

Among the commonly committed violations are: driving with expired license; vehicle with expired registration and driving without helmet or not wearing seatbelt.

He disclosed that the operation was conducted upon the request of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Dagupan through a resolution.

“We made a special operation in the city because most of the vehicles from all over the province are entering the city, the volume of traffic here is so big,” Guadiz said.

He revealed that prior to Wednesday’s operation, a dialogue was held with the leaders of drivers’ associations, to inform and urge them to address the common traffic violations among their members.

“We commensurate with the driver-violators in their situation right now considering the costs of penalties they have to pay, but we have a law to follow and when they drive a vehicle, they have the obligation to register. Also, they have to renew or get driver’s license because the next time they will be caught, they will be suspended for a month and the penalty will be doubled to PHP6,000,” Guadiz said.

He added that LTO-1 together with DCPS and POSO will conduct the same operation every two weeks.

“Be careful in driving as we only have one life to live,” Guadiz reminded the drivers.  Hilda Austria/