MANILA- In a bid to address driver fatigue, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has set a six-hour cap on the driving hours of passenger bus drivers to ensure the safety of the riding public in time for the Holy Week travel peak.
In a memorandum circular issued Friday, the LTFRB said it would enforce the limit starting Monday, when passengers traveling over Lent are expected to flock to bus terminals.
The order mandates bus company operators to assign alternate drivers to take over in case trips take more than 6 hours.
The circular also prohibits bus conductors from serving as the substitute driver, so he could carry on with his role of assisting passengers.
"Driver fatigue is a serious problem in many road mishaps,” the LTFRB said.
Speaking to ANC on Saturday, LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said the circular was issued following reports of vehicular accidents caused by exhaustion among drivers.
"During our hearings, we have a lot of vehicular accidents where drivers are either having an attack, blood pressure is up or they don’t have any sleep," Lizada said.
Bus operators who will violate the circular shall be fined P 5,000 on the first offense; P10,000 and a 30-day suspension of franchise on the second offense; and a two-month (60 days) suspension of franchise on the third offense.
Lizada said the LTFRB will conduct random inspections nationwide to ensure the implementation of the circular.