Undas, the yearly Philippine holiday commemorating loved ones who have passed on, is only a few weeks away. With the coming holiday, many Filipinos are expected to go home to their provinces to visit their dearly departed, troop to the cemeteries in the city with family or take advantage of the opportunity to grab a quick getaway.
The Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. (MDPPA) hopes to remind motorcycle riders to practice road safety this coming Undas.
Magnus Mateo, MDPPA Road Safety Committee Vice Chairman, shares some tips to guide motorcycle riders as they go out to be with family and friends in the cemetery or the provinces:
- Ability. Motorcycle riders should know how to properly ride a motorcycle. First-time motorcycle owners are encouraged to take riding lessons. A road safety driving center in Metro Manila teaches would-be riders first how to ride a bicycle properly and safely. Once they pass the bicycle driving test, students are taught how to ride an electric bike and then advance to learning the proper way to ride a motorcycle after passing the electric bike test.
- Visibility. Motorcycle riders should ensure they are always seen by other motorists on the road. Avoid changing lanes or merging on other vehicles’ blind spots. Motorcycles are small so riders should take extra caution when changing lanes or squeezing between vehicles.
- Predictability. Avoid sudden stops and immediate left or right turns as these will endanger the rider and passenger. Sudden stops are known to throw the rider over the front of the motorcycle.
- Dependability. Always check the motorcycle’s condition before any trip, whether it is a long ride or just a short one. Make sure the motorcycle’s chain or belt is moving freely. Always do regular maintenance of chain-driven bikes, and ensure the work includes cleaning and waxing of the chain. Also check for any oil or other fluid leakage anywhere on the motorcycle. Have the bike checked by an authorized motorcycle repairman if there’s a leakage. Remember to also check the brakes, tires, oil and controls.
- Variability. Expect the unexpected. Always practice defensive driving. Give proper road courtesy but do not expect other road users to provide the same treatment. Also share the road with other road elements such as other vehicles and pedestrians.
These reminders should be followed not only during holidays or long rides but every day, according to Mateo. For emergencies on the road, call 117 to alert the Philippine National Police (PNP) or 320 to get assistance from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).