Pinoy Driver

Speed Limits: What are the maximum and minimum speed limits in major roads in the Philippines

slex-expressway-speed-limits

Many of us have been driving for quite some time now and many Filipino drivers are actually very adept in driving in here in the Philippines. We have actually gotten so skilled that we can almost imitate driver stunts seen on movies as many taxis, jeepneys, and other public utility vehicles (PUV) are doing. But satire aside while many drivers are proficient a lot of them lack knowledge about road and traffic rules (batas trapiko) and this is the reason why you see a lot of PUVs and even private vehicles drive recklessly.

Hopefully it changes as we move forward into a better future with better and stricter law implementation. We’ve seen a lot of changes already and it’s really good to see that traffic rules and laws are starting to get strictly implemented. Because if this our responsibility as drivers to know and abide by it must be reinforced. To do that knowing about speed limits in major expressways and major roads is a good start.

Speed limit refers to both maximum and minimum speeds allowed in a road. Both of them are critical and must be observed because driving beyond maximum and minimum are both dangerous to the driver and to other road users as well.

Below are the speed limits imposed in the country’s major expressways.

 

In Cavitex (Cavite Expressway), NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), SLEX (South Luzon Expressway), Skyway, and STAR Tollway, the minimum speed for all vehicles is 60kph; the maximum speed limit for cars is 100kph; and the maximum speed limit for buses and trucks is 80kph.

In SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway), the minimum speed for all vehicles is 60kph and the maximum speed for all vehicles is 100kph.

In commonwealth the maximum speed limit is 60kph while the minimum speed limit is not yet clearly defined within Republic Act 4136.

In EDSA the maximum speed limit is actually 40kph and 30kph for trucks and buses as is stated in RA 4136, while the minimum speed limit is yet to be stated (hopefully soon) in the Republic Act.

Right now every motorist adheres to the maximum speed limit in EDSA during the day and especially during rush hours as it is usually not possible to reach the speed of 20kph consistently due to heavy nose-to-tail traffic. If traffic flows are heavy in rush hour then it may not be possible to reach the minimum speeds consistently due to congestion, whereas in the middle of the night traffic is light and it’s possible for drivers to overspeed in EDSA

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Moving Out From One Place To Another And How To Do It Properly

You found a new career in another location, or perhaps you just can’t stand the ridiculous maintenance of your apartment anymore; or even better, you’ve just decided to start a family of your own. At some point in our life will have to move from one place to another. This is something that all of us will experience usually more than once in our life.

One of the toughest thing to deal with when moving out is moving your large items together with you. I’m talking about your mattress, the sofa set, and dining table, etc. Most of which are usually furnitures that if mishandled might cause damage to your stuff or even worse it might cause you your safety especially if you try to load into an unfit vehicle just like the one in the picture below.

mattress-on-car

It’s inevitable to not move something large when transferring from one place to another so in case you plan to do so then these are the best way to do it:

Hire a removals truck. Many call it “lipat bahay truck” here in the Philippines and there are plenty of them you can contact if you want their service. I actually tried to look for them online and in just 10 seconds I found some in Facebook and OLX: https://www.facebook.com/lipatbahaytruck/ and https://www.olx.ph/all-results/q-hauling-of-debris

This is the safest and most hassle-free way of moving your stuff to your new place. They often provide a driver plus 2-3 men to help you haul and unload your stuff to the truck.

Rent a truck. This is the cheapest option but you’ll have to load and unload your stuff yourself. Not quite an option if you are moving an office or if you are not a minimalist type.

Get a roof rack. This will securely hold a furniture on top of your vehicle. Ideally you should try to balance the weight as you load onto your car. Too much weight on the rear end and this will lift your front end and will get the car unbalanced in corners as it will affect your steering and make it more likely for you to understeer. This also means that your headlights will project higher that could dazzle other motorists.

Keep in mind to refrain from tying items onto the roof of your vehicle because obviously painted surfaces are more slippery and the load could easily move and worse damage your load if the rope gets compromised when turning. If you’re really persistent about tying stuff on your roof then use a rope canvass or stopper (better if with a ratchet to tighten it) and be sure to double check and tighten loose ends.

If you will travel a long distance with a heavy load on your roof then be sure to pack a little more pressure to your tires. But before you do so be sure to check out your manufacturer’s handbook first.  

Carrying items in your car

Things can become missiles in an accident. Keep a low center of gravity. Use a cargo net. Tie heavy items down. Really heavy items should have the seat belt passed through them if possible.

Pets should be in a pet harness or a cage tethered to a seat belt.

Don’t load items above the seat line in the boot.

Very heavy items can break through seat backs in an accident.

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Top Driving Violations With Highest Fines in the Philippines

If you are driving here in the Philippines whether as a local or a foreigner then here’s something that you’d want to checkout. Below is the list of traffic violations with the most pricey penalty charges. You can visit MMDA’s website to checkout the full list of traffic violations and penalties.

 

Code Violation 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
067 USING MV IN COMMISSION OF CRIME 10,000.00 10,000.00 10,000.00
095 ILLEGAL TRANSFER OF PLATES / TAGS / STICKERS 7,500.00 7,500.00 7,500.00
015A COLORUM OPERATION (PASSENGER) – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 004 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
203PRQ Drag Racing / Speed Contest – PARANAQUE MMDA MC No. 14-11 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
091 VIOLATION OF COMMEMORATIVE PLATE RULES & REGULATIONS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
094 TAMPERING OF OR / CR / CPC & OTHER DOCUMENTS (SPURIOUS DOCUMENTS) – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 004 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
190 FAILURE TO DISPLAY THE REGULAR PLATE (w/comm. Plate) 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
191 FAILURE TO CARRY ARMORED VEH. DOCUMENTS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
192 LACK OF ARMORED VEHICLE MARKINGS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
192 LACK OF ARMORED VEHICLE MARKINGS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
009A *OUT OF LINE OPERATION – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 004 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
1203 TOWING FEE STALLED / ILLEGALLY PARKED (HEAVY VEHICLES) 4,500.00 4,500.00 4,500.00
144 FAST / DEFECT / NON-OPER / TAMPERED TAXI METER 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
145 BROKEN TAXIMETER SEAL 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
146 FAKE /ALTERED TAXIMETER SEAL 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
147 TAMPERED TAXIMETER SEAL 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
203PSY Drag Racing / Speed Contest – PASAY MMDA MC No. 14-11 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
023A DRIVING AGAINST TRAFFIC 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
066 DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
065 DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF LIQUOR 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
210 Failure to Comply with LTFRB MC 2011-004 2,000.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
023B ILLEGAL OR UNAUTHORIZED COUNTERFLOW – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 003 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
201M ***Overspeeding Macapagal Ave MMDA MC No. 14-11 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
204M **Reckless Driving – PASAY & PARANQUE (w/seminar) MMDA MC No. 14-11 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00

 

 

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Drugs You Can Use Before You Drive

What effect do different illegal drugs have on drivers? Do you ever wonder what illicit drugs can you take and still be able to drive safely?

If you take the wheel after you’ve taken drugs you are one of the estimated 3.5-5% of the population who risks it at least once a year; and that is whether you’re into shabu, marijuana, coke, or antidepressants.

Depressants

Depressants, sometimes called “downers,” come in capsules, tablets, liquid form, cigarettes, or even cakes. Some famous  depressant drugs are marijuana, cannabis, ganja, and weed — all of them are basically the same compound.

How can it affect your driving? As an example, cannabis users are twice more likely to be involved in an accident. This is because it inhibits the body’s reaction time since it slows down the brain function, therefore reducing your attention span while increasing your reaction time – a common side effect which would make you very vulnerable to accidents when driving.

It’s also crucial for you to judge your speed, road position, and distance when driving; and all of this are inhibited by the aftereffects of this drug making even reading road signs hard as it distorts the sensory functions of the body.

Stimulant

You might think that stimulants will make you more alert and therefore make you a better driver, but actually they do the opposite because what they do is make your mind lose its focus, and so you’ll have a hard time judging and making decisions.

Ecstasy, amphetamines, mephedrone, methamphetamine and cocaine are just some that you might know. Stimulants, also called uppers sometimes, are particularly addictive and increase energy and alertness temporarily, but beware because they can cause confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, panic and even psychosis. At first, stimulants appear to heighten your senses together with your awareness, but the danger comes immediately afterwards when you come down and hard; this even puts you into a great risk of falling asleep while driving.

Ecstasy or MDMA can cause euphoria, confusion, and anxiety all of which are not very helpful when you are driving.

Amphetamines are addictive and its users are also prone to use other drugs (e.g. marijuana) to mask the effects of coming down.

You are very likely to be hyped when you’re still high, this means you are more likely to be aggressive on the road that you normally would. Nevertheless, stimulants will take away your concentration making it more difficult for you to drive. It can create hallucinations and disrupt your view and perception of the road.

Hallucinogens

These are drugs that cause hallucinations of which the most commonly known are LSD, PCP, Peyote, and Psilocybin. Common drugs that can cause hallucinations here in the Philippines are rugby solvent, weed, and ecstasy.

Hallucinogen users feel sensations, hear sounds, and even see images that are entirely nonexistent but seemingly very real and true, as if it really exist. Imagine having these effects on you while driving and you’ll get the idea that it’s really bad for driving.

Conclusion between illegal drugs and driving

There’s a very good reason why these drugs are illegal even with driving excluded in the equation: these drugs can cause irreversible and harmful effects to the body with prolonged use or overdose. It also puts other people at risk when a person uses them because of the effects of drugs on the psyche creates a hazard to other people. This makes driving under the influence of drugs even more dangerous as the person is volatile when on the road, putting other road users at a greater risk.
On the other hand, drivers must be watchful of non-illegal drugs, too, as some prescription and over-the-counter drugs may also cause driving impairment. If you are under a medication, it would be best to talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional first to be sure you’re OK to drive.

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Driving in Hot Weather Condition

Driving in hot weather can be a dangerous thing. For us Pinoys who are very used to driving in hot weather conditions, this is something that we are used to, yet many of us still get caught out due to a lack of preparation, and because we’re so used to it we tend to ignore it sometimes.

Here are risks that you would encounter including tips to drive safely when driving in on a sunny day.

 

Sun dazzle

driving-towards-sun

Driving towards the east in the morning, or towards the west in the afternoon can cause you to have vision difficulties due to sun dazzle. That’s why it’s it’s very important to have a clean windshield as dirt diffracts light that will make it hard for you to see. Often times, the car’s visor is not deep enough to protect your eyes from sun dazzle so wearing sunglasses will help a lot as you won’t have to worry about being blinded by the sun’s bright light.

 

Dehydration and exhaustion

exhausted-dog

With the air conditioner turned off a car’s temperature can increase rapidly when left in the heat of the sun. With your windows left open, the temperature may be not as much but is still hotter than that outside of your car. Bear in mind never leave kids or pets in your car when you leave it, even for a few minutes. You should bring them with you if you plan to leave out your car in the heat.

Heatstroke is also something you should watch out for when driving in hot weather. Heatstroke is a medical condition wherein the body reaches 40 degrees Celsius due to prolonged heat exposure. In this case a person may experience mild seizures and even death if not treated properly and immediately once the symptoms occur. That’s why keeping yourself hydrated is very important when driving especially on long journeys. While drinking coffee, energy drinks, and softdrinks may help you keep awake, bear in mind that they are diuretic and will cause your body to pass more fluids than the usual. Bring water with you in your journey so you can replenish your body fluids and remain hydrated.

 

Slippery grime after a rain

slippery-wet-road

Oil and dirt accumulated on the asphalt when mixed with water becomes very slippery so be really, really careful when driving especially in the first few hours after it has just rained right after a long hot weather.

 

Sunburn

sunburn

Getting a sunburn increases your chances of acquiring melanoma skin cancer in the long term. Many driver’s who choose to drive with the air conditioner off and windows open have a tendency to hang their arm out the window. This makes your arm susceptible to sunburn in a hot summer day so it’s advisable to put on sunscreen and also an arm sleeve to protect your skin.

 

Engine overheating

car-radiator

Hot weather could post a challenge to your vehicle’s cooling system. Make sure you fill up your radiator with coolant and water before you take your car out on a sunny day. If your engine overheats in the middle of your journey, try to pull your vehicle to the farthest right side of the road as you can so you won’t be an obstruction to other road users. Never open the radiator cap right away as the accumulated heat pressure will scald you. The first step is to cool it down so you can open the radiator cap. Try to wash the radiator and cooling system from the outside first and put a wet rag or cloth on top of the radiator covering the cap so it could dissipate heat quicker before removing the cap.

 

Washer liquid

windshield-dirt

Many motorists overlook this. Dust and dirt can accumulate on your windshield on a hot dry weather and your wipers together with your some water can be sufficient to have it removed. So don’t forget to check your washer liquid to make sure it has enough in it.

 

Window shades

driving-in-hot-weather

This is crucial if you have babies or little children on board. Because their skin is sensitive having window shades will protect them from the damaging effect of the sun.

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Driving Tips for the Rainy Season

Summer is just about over, and now is the time to say goodbye to the summer life, to the warm water of the beach and pool, to basketball summer leagues, to the glorious yet irritating summer heat! It’s now time to say hello to the rainy days.

Driving in the rain can be really dangerous, especially during the night, as it’s one of the worst conditions you can drive into, not even to mention the incoming flood, the slippery roads, hydroplaning, and the restricted visibility.

Here are some tips and advice to help you drive safely and avoid accidents when driving in the rain.

rainy-day-driving

Before you drive especially during heavy rain or a typhoon:

  • Consider if you really need to go out and drive. Can you wait until it has stopped raining?
  • Let a friend or relative know about where you plan to go, your routine, and your estimated travel time. If you can, bring a travel buddy with you.
  • Plan your route in advance. Consider where you’re at and the routes you’re about to take. Are they not flooded?
  • Be sure to fill up as air conditioner, lights and wipers, and possible heavy traffic will consume more fuel than normal driving conditions.
  • Bring your mobile phone to use in case of emergencies. Also, bring an umbrella as you’ll have to leave the protective roof of your car at some point.

 

While driving:

driving-in-the-rain

  • Drive slower than you would at normal weather conditions, and don’t forget to leave enough space between you and the vehicle you are following. Many countries use the 2-second rule — count “one-thousand-and-one, two-thousand-and-two” between a point on the road that the car in your front passes until you pass the same point. It’s advisable to double this distance when driving on wet roads. That means using a 4-second rule as gap to the vehicle you are following. If you are driving a heavy vehicle you must increase this gap even further.
  • Avoid using rear fog lights. They can make your brake lights less visible and even dazzle motorists trailing behind you.
  • Keep the radio on and listen to news and updates regarding traffic conditions, floodings, road closures, and other road status and conditions.
  • Drive slower to avoid hydroplaning. Driving too fast on wet road surfaces might cause your tires to lose direct contact with the road and travel on top of the water. This phenomenon is called hydroplaning and is also known as aquaplaning. This significantly reduces your traction and your steering wheel will feel very light. When this happens be as calm as you can and avoid abrupt motions. Don’t step on the brakes suddenly, let go of the accelerator, and steer gently and slightly to your desired direction until you regain traction and complete control of your wheel again.
  • Be mindful of other road users as well. When you see pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists ahead, reduce your speed so you don’t spatter them especially on roads where pots of water are evident. After all, you would want to be treated the same.
  • Turn on the air conditioner or the defroster (if you have one) when the windshield starts to fog. Driving in the rain will more likely make your windshield foggy due to the temperature change, this will severely restrict your visibility of the road. Keeping your aircon turned on will deal with this problem.

 

When driving through floods is inevitable:

driving-through-flood

  • If you’re unsure about the depth of the flood then don’t even attempt to drive through it. Try to look for an alternative route. If there’s not another road to take other than the flooded one, try to drive on higher segments of the road.
  • Ensure that you have a clear path ahead and through the flood before you set off so you won’t stop in the middle of the water as your engine will be damaged if water enters it via the muffler. Keep your revs up to avoid this by using a low gear. If driving a manual vehicle you can depress the clutch to keep the revs up without moving.
  • Drive steady and slow and in a low gear (as mentioned above) and make sure that you don’t take your feet off of the accelerator while you’re still in the water as this will push off the water and prevent it from coming into your muffler.
  • Never drive through waters with strong currents; you don’t want yourself and your car to get washed away by fast flowing water.
  • Never start the engine when you’re in deep flood as it will cause damages to your engine. If your engine ceases while still trying to pass through the water, call for assistance to have your vehicle assessed first.
  • Don’t forget to test your brakes once you’ve gone past the flood. Your brakes might provide less to very little braking power when wet, and so you should dry them immediately by lightly applying the brakes while continuing to drive. You only need to do this a few seconds until you feel the increase in braking pressure. The friction and heat from the brakes dries the discs or brake shoes quickly.
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Essential City Driving Tips

Heavy rush hour traffic, countless traffic lights, impossible parking, cramped streets, unpredictable pedestrians, negligent jeepney and taxi drivers, and the ever present threat of car theft can make city driving quite challenging and stressful.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to make city driving a lot easier. From picking a car to traversing through the narrow city roads; here is some advice that will make your city driving a walk in the park.

Manual vs automatic

manual-vs-automatic  

Manual cars are less expensive and are often more fuel-efficient, but driving them in heavy stop-and-go traffic would be quite a stress. So be deliberate and weigh the trade-offs of both transmissions, especially if you know you’re going to be in the city often.

Get a city car

city-car-mini-cooper

If you know you’ll be driving in the city more often than in the countryside, then having a city car — usually smaller in length and width — will make maneuvering and parking in the city much easier. Don’t forget to look at the specs and even more into the reviews online before you buy one.

Keep your cool

so-cool

Here in the Philippines, you’ll encounter plenty of rude and reckless public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, e.g. jeepney, taxi, bus, and “FX” drivers. Don’t take it to heart and become frustrated; it’s so normal here so be patient and see to it that you give PUVs enough space to change lane and always be cautious when passing one.

Watch out for pedestrians

pedestrian

Many pedestrians here are quite stubborn; they might surprise with sudden and reckless attempt to cross the street where it is not safe for them to do so, and sometimes, even where they are discouraged to do so. Slow down and watch for the signs that a person is about to cross the road – waiting at the kerb, distracted walking towards the kerb (e.g. looking at a phone), or someone looking like they are in a hurry.

Making Turns   

no-left-turn

Making turns on urban roads can be confusing and tricky especially to novice drivers. If you are unsure whether it’s illegal or not to make a turn, just continue driving forward and make your turn when you’re sure it’s OK and safe to do so.

Avoid rush hour

rush-hour-traffic

If you can, try to avoid driving during peak hours. Rush hour in the Philippines is from 5-8pm; this is when traffic is heaviest as most people’s work-day is done and are going home. If it’s unavoidable to drive during the peak hours then prepare yourself for a more time-consuming drive than the usual.

Parking

mall-parking

There are plenty of parking spaces in the city, and many of them are paid parking. Have your parking fee ready when driving in the city just in case you may need to park. It’s usually safer to park on paid parking than in the streets because they are guarded. And don’t forget to secure your parking ticket and don’t leave it inside your car if you think your car could be of interest to carnappers.

Secure your valuables out-of-sight in your car before leaving it. Bring them with you if you can; if not, put them in the trunk before you park to deter thieves and make your car as crime-resistant as possible.

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Learn Your Road Code