QC eyes 'no contact apprehension' for erring motorists

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — Quezon City could be the next city in Metro Manila to implement the No Contact Apprehension Program (NCAP) following its approval on second reading by the city council.

The program calls for enforcement cameras to be installed along the city's major roads in order to catch traffic violators. Officials assured traffic enforcers that they will not lose their jobs.

"First of all there's only 15 sites na may camera. 'Yung sa mga DPOS (Department of Public Order and Safety), hindi sila mawawalan ng trabaho. It's very timely if you will look at what's happening, sila ‘yung nae-expose masyado," said city councilor Franz Pumaren.

[Translation: There are only 15 sites that have cameras. Rest assured, traffic enforcers under the DPOS will not lose their jobs. It's very timely if you will look at what's happening, they are the ones very much exposed.]

When the NCAP is fully implemented, a notice of violation will be sent directly to the residence of the motorist caught violating traffic rules through the installed cameras.

But some groups have reservations regarding the program. Laban TNVS says it was not given a heads up regarding the matter.

"Tinututulan natin ito dahil tingin natin na ito ay negosyo ng mga lokal na gobyerno sa mga drayber. Napakataas ng penalty. Nangyayari na sa ibang lugar…‘pag kinokontes, hindi pinagbibigyan," say Laban TNVS chief Jun de Leon.

[Translation: We are against it because we think it is a money-making project by local governments. Penalties are too high. It’s already happening in other cities, the violations cannot be challenged.]

They say their penalties will be bumped up from ₱2,000 to ₱5,000 depending on the violation.

Pumaren, however, said it's possible to contest the violations.

"You can contest this one, just in case you feel na mali ‘yung nasabi [that there was a wrong accusation] or there was an emergency, you can always contest that," he said.

According to the city government, the transport group was consulted twice regarding the plan. City officials also gave their assurance that the system will be fair.

The NCAP is up for third and final reading on Monday. Once passed there will be a one-month dry-run to determine if the plan is effective in encouraging more drivers to follow traffic rules and regulations.