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Motorcycle safety advocates caution against required barrier shields

Motorcycle safety advocates on Sunday warned against the barrier shields being required for motorcycles with back riders, saying they may cause accidents.

According to Motorcycle Philippines Federation official Atoy Sta. Cruz, metal barriers could cause more harm in an accident.

"Kini-criticize ko nga 'yan eh, kasi gumagamit sila nung pinaka-frame niya is made of metal," he said in an interview on GMA's "24 Oras Weekend" on Sunday.

"Ngayon, additional 'yan baka mamaya magkaroon ng road crash, tumama o tumusok sa katawan nung backride 'yung frame ng motorsiklo. 'Yun lang ang worry namin," he added.

The report also showed a couple using a makeshift frame who said that dealing with the air flow created by the moving motorcycle made it difficult for the rider to hang on to her companion as well as to the barrier at the same time.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año last Thursday announced that back-riding or riding pillion is allowed among couples and partners with the same residence.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 has since released a prototype design.

In an effort to comply, several motorists have come up with improvised shields which in some instances, are vastly different from the issued prototype.

"Imbes na makatulong, ang nakikita namin dito eh baka maging sanhi ng aksidente. Halimbawa may kasalubong na malaking sasakyan, halimbawa truck man o malaking pick up. Biglang hahanginin 'yung barrier shield na 'yan, dadalhin ka either kaliwa or kanan eh di mo naman kontrolado ang ihip ng hangin, so pwede kang ma-aksidente," said Jay Taruc, a motorcycle safety advocate.

For his part, Año defended the prototype shield, saying that the safety really depends on the motorcycle driver.

"'Yung regarding naman kasi sa accident-prone, both sides 'yan eh, both ways 'yan, kahit naman walang shield o walang barrier, katakot-takot 'yung aksidente ng motor. Nasa driver talaga 'yan," he said Friday. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News