In what could be seen as a shock for owners of electric scooters and e-bikes, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has announced that these personal mobility gadgets will have to be registered with the agency, with users required to have the appropriate license.
As with motorcycles, e-bikes and e-scooters will need to be registered with the LTO
The agency has already forwarded an initial copy of the guidelines to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which will issue a memorandum circular to cover electric vehicles including two-wheeled ones, according to LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante. Once the DOTr has approved it for immediate implementation, the LTO will publish the memorandum.
He said that the draft guidelines specify two categories for e-scooters and e-bikes. The lower category permits use within private spaces such as villages and subdivisions, while the higher category allows for crossing main roads only, not for traversing avenues or highways. Users will be required to don additional protective attire in order to travel along public roads.
Riders will need additional protective gear to use their e-bikes on public roads
“Generally, sa ating batas, Republic Act 4136, irregardless kung ito ay electric- or gas-powered vehicle, kailangan ito ay registered at ang gumagamit ay lisensiyado,” Galvante said. (Generally, under our law, Republic Act 4136, irregardless if it is an electric- or gas-powered vehicle, it must be registered and the user should have a license).
Enacted in 1964, RA 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code defines motor vehicles as those powered by anything other than muscular power, with certain exceptions.
Inadequate mass transport has increased reliance on personal mobility devices in recent years.
Anticipating objections from e-bike and e-scooter users, the LTO chief emphasized that the new requirements are for the safety of the riders while on the road. “Sana ma-realize nila na ito ay hindi lang para pagbawalan sila kundi para sa kapakanan din nila. Very vulnerable and susceptible kasi sila na ma-involve sa aksidente. Kaligtasan din nila ang isinasangalang natin,” he stressed. (I hope they will realize that this is not to ban them but to ensure their safety. They are very vulnerable and susceptible to being involved in an accident. Their safety is always what we consider.)
Do you agree with the registration requirement for e-bikes and e-scooters?
Galvante also denies unduly restricting the use of these vehicles. “Pinu-push nga actually ang mga electric vehicles dahil malaki ang maitutulong nito sa pagbawas ng pollution,’ he added. (Electric vehicles are actually being pushed because it will help a lot in reducing pollution).
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo