There’s no denying the presence of criminal activity aboard two-wheels. Unfortunately, our favorite vehicles of choice also make for easy getaway vehicles thanks to their lightweight, ease of use, and ubiquity—especially when it comes to small scooters equipped with automatic transmissions. That said, various lawmakers and politicians have long been thinking up ways to curb motorcycle-related crime, especially riding in tandem shootings.
The latest news comes to us from the Chief Presidential legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, who recently suggested an outright ban on pillion riding, or as it is colloquially referred to, backriding. He proposed this in a bid to arrest the spike in riding-in-tandem shooting and theft incidents. Mr. Panelo made his intentions known during the launching ceremony of the Philippine National Police Tactical Motorcycle Riding Unit, or PNP-TMRU.
In his statement he said, “ipagbawal nalang natin yung merong sumasakay sa motorsiklo. Tama lang yung isa lang (let’s just ban another person from riding a motorcycle. Only one rider is enough).” He also added that even husband and wife, father and son, or any family members should be banned from backriding as well, since it’s easy for people to pretend that they are indeed members of the same family.
“If we don’t outlaw riding-in-tandem, there will always be shootings, because they can always pretend to be husband and wife, father and son.”
Aside from proposing a ban on pillion riding, the Presidential legal counsel also highlighted that the PNP is indeed undermanned in terms of manpower and overall police presence. He also stated that bolstering police presence could indeed serve as a deterrent for would-be criminals. If and when a ban on motorcycle pillion riding is implemented, it will undoubtedly have a massive effect on the hundred of thousands of Filipinos who rely on pillion riding to get to their destinations. For many families, a motorcycle is their only means of transportation.