LTO urged: Ban reckless bus drivers

By Dharel Placido,

Posted at Oct 18 2012 04:10 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2012 12:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A spokesperson for Metro Manila bus operators is calling on the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to apply to reckless bus drivers what it did to motorist Robert Carabuena.

Speaking to dzMM, Metro Bus Transport Operators Spokesperson Atty. Grace Adducul said bus operators need the help of LTO in preventing reckless bus drivers from entering their companies.

"[Kung] nagawa ng LTO sa isang holder ng driver's license na masuspinde ang lisensya dahil sa isang aktwasyon sa isang traffic enforcer, ano naman kaya ang magagawa nila sa ganitong sitwasyon (reckless drivers)?" said Adducul, possibly referring to Carabuena, whose driver's license was revoked for life after being caught mistreating traffic enforcer Saturnino Fabros.

"Wala sa kamay ng operators ang issuance and revocation of license. Medyo iniiwasan natin na magkaroon tayong operators ng patong-patong na labor fees kung biglang magkaroon ng mass termination ng hindi naman namin kagagawan," she said.

Adducul said bus operators always abide by training and orientation requirements for bus drivers in order to maintain safety standards. However, she said it is hard to determine if an applicant driver has a history of recklessness because the LTO has no proper information database.

The issue on recklessness among bus drivers once again surfaced after two buses of Nova Auto Transport figured in separate accidents in Quezon City on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A teenage boy died and 29 others were injured in the accidents, prompting the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspend all of Nova's 76 bus units while investigations are ongoing.

Suspension of entire fleet

Adducul also questioned why the LTFRB suspended all franchises of Nova Auto Transport. In the past, the LTFRB only suspends the fleet of the bus involved in the accident.

"First time na lahat ng unit, lahat ng franchise, nasuspinde. So medyo papag-aralan pa ng grupo kung ano ang naging basehan at bakit nagkaganito ang pangyayari," she said.

"Kailangan na tanggapin natin na mayroong matitinong drivers [na maapektuhan ng suspensyon]," she added.

The Nova management is asking the LTFRB to reconsider its decision, saying some 300 families will be affected. - with a report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM